Up to 300 jobs have been created after it was confirmed that NHS 111 would be moving into an office in the North East.

The NHS announced on Tuesday (July 9) that it would be making Cavendish House at Prince’s Wharf in Thornaby one of its new homes for its 111 services.

Practice Plus Group, a company that runs a network of NHS 111 contact centres throughout England on behalf of the NHS, has been one of the largest providers of NHS 111 call centres since the service was rolled out 10 years ago and takes almost three million calls each year.

Cavendish House at Prince’s Wharf in ThornabyCavendish House at Prince’s Wharf in Thornaby (Image: CONTRIBUTOR)

The new Stockton-on-Tees centre is a reflection of the company’s long-term plan to grow its NHS 111 services to meet the increased demand seen over recent years as the NHS faces unprecedented pressures.

The centre will provide additional support to the existing centres around the country, helping as many people as possible access NHS 111 when they need it, as well as creating 300 jobs for the region.

Depending on each case, NHS 111 can advise people on what action to take, whether to go to A&E, an urgent treatment centre or a local pharmacy.

The service can arrange for a nurse or paramedic to call back, for a caller to be seen by a healthcare professional, or it can help them access specialist support for dental or mental health.

Practice Plus Group chose Stockton-on-Tees because people in the area are actively looking for work, with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Employment and Training hub also providing bespoke support to recruit local people into high-quality roles.

Inside the new NHS 111 buildingInside the new NHS 111 building (Image: NHS)

It’s also a fitting move for Practice Plus Group’s Chief Executive, Jim Easton, who grew up in the area from his teens before going on to create and roll out the NHS 111 service in the Department of Health in the early 2000s.

He said: “I am delighted to be able to invest in such a fantastic area that has many fond memories for me, but more importantly, to show our commitment to running a reliable NHS 111 service nationally.

"This is more important than ever before, with the NHS facing some of the biggest challenges in its history.

"Our NHS 111 services work as part of wider NHS urgent and emergency care systems locally and help take the pressure off GP practices and Accident and Emergency.

"This new centre will ensure that regardless of which of our call centres around the country becomes overwhelmed with calls, we can meet the demand and help as many people as possible. Those joining us in Stockon-on-Tees will save lives. These are incredibly important jobs.”

Staff are due to move into the Thornaby office on Monday, July 15.

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Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Practice Plus Group to Stockton-on-Tees, the first health sector business to relocate to Teesside since we have shared our ambitious plans to create a Tees Valley Care and Health Innovation Zone in that area.

“Practice Plus Group is bringing high-quality jobs to the Borough and Stockton-on-Tees’ Employment and Training Hub has provided dedicated support, helping to recruit local people into these roles, helping Practice Plus provide a valuable service to the NHS.

"We wish the company and their new staff the best of luck and hope they will quickly see the benefits of investing in Stockton-on-Tees.”