Two new contracts have been signed and health bosses say GP out-of-hours services will be enhanced across much of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as a result.
The contracts will support GP practices in the north of the county, as well as separate services in south Staffordshire, including servicing prisons in the region.
The service will be provided by Totally Urgent Care and will initially run until March 31, 2027, and include a new model.
Under the new arrangements for GP out-of-hours services, the weekend service at County Hospital in Stafford will reopen, with opening times of 10am-10pm.
There will be extended opening hours at the Haywood Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent and a new service will be opening in Leek on weekends.
Dr Steve Fawcett, medical director for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “GP out-of-hours services are important to many people, especially those that cannot make appointments during normal GP opening hours.
“They also provided much needed back-up capacity to our very busy GP practices across the area.
“We awarded these contracts following an open procurement process and have been able to enhance a number of existing services which is something we are delighted about.”
Further additions to the service will include remote consultations based within pharmacies in the Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire districts.
The service in Cannock Chase will remain available 6pm-8am weekdays and 24 hours at weekends, and in Tamworth 7pm-11pm on weekdays and 9am-10pm at weekends.
Commissioners awarded the contracts following an open procurement process.
The GP out of hours service is available via NHS 111, delivered by Vocare, part of Totally’s Urgent Care Division.
Vocare is a long-standing partner for NHS 111 in the region, answering around 30,000 calls per month from patients seeking advice and access to care.