The team at the NHS 111 contact centre in Welwyn Garden City, operated by HUC, welcomed Health Minister Maria Caulfield MP and members of her team from the Department of Health and Social Care today. As a social enterprise, HUC provides NHS 111 and Out of Hours services for Hertfordshire and West Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as well as Luton and Bedfordshire, and is deeply embedded in the communities the organisation serves.

As part of her visit, Ms Caulfield met HUC’s CEO David Archer, who gave her a tour of the contact centre. HUC proudly play an integral part of the country’s pandemic response as an NHS 111 and urgent care provider and Mr Archer explained some of the ongoing challenges the service is facing. He also detailed some of the innovations the organisation has developed throughout the pandemic, such as the Virtual Waiting Room, collaborating with partners across the healthcare landscape. The Health Minister then spent some time chatting to NHS 111 call handlers to learn more about their roles and what the types of calls they answer.

In 2021, HUC won the HSJ Award in the  “Driving Efficiency through Technology” category for its Virtual Waiting Room as well as the “Primary Care Initiative of the Year” category for its palliative care line in partnership with Arthur Rank Hospice. It also won a European Contact Centre & Customer Service Award. This year, HUC is nominated for an HSJ Patient Safety Award in the “Improving Care for Children” category.

David Archer, Chief Executive Officer at HUC says: “It’s been an honour to welcome Maria Caulfield to our contact centre and my team and I thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating NHS 111 live in action and explaining the important role the service plays in the healthcare system.”