Operating surplus triples at IC24

Urgent care provider Integrated Care 24 (IC24) said its operating surplus almost tripled in the year ended 30 June 2021 as it continued to rein in costs.

Revenue was more or less flat year-on-year at £75.2m but a 3% dip in running costs to £62.7m along with a 10% drop in administrative expenses, gave rise to an operating surplus of £4.3m against £1.5m the previous year.

The social enterprise, which operates NHS 111 services and owns locum doctor provider Brightdoc 24 alongside Phama 24 Ltd and a 50% share of out-of-hours dental care provider iDental, said close monitoring of operational and financial performance together with its constructive relationships with NHS commissioners had helped drive the improved results.

Revenue growth across its NHS 111 and clinical assessment services (CAS) in Norfolk, Essex and Kent due to higher workloads during Covid was offset by reduced income in Sussex following the decommissioning of its out-of-hours service in 2020.

During the year, its partnership with SECAmb to deliver 111 and CAS in Kent, Medway and Sussex went live following a six-month postponement. It also secured a two-year extension of integrated urgent care services in Norfolk.

However, IC24 said the decommissioning of the Eastbourne Station Health Centre subsequent to the year-end would impact income in the current year.

A number of other short-term contracts resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic were also decommissioned, while the commissioning of an out-of-hours service in West Kent was postponed.

The directors said the company remained at the vanguard of developments in the role of urgent treatment centres, which are progressively replacing smaller face-to-face services. In addition, they said the company was using technological developments to support the shift away from a traditional GP model to a multidisciplinary approach with GP leadership via video conferencing at scale.

Looking ahead, they said: ‘We expect our role within the ICP and ICS to vary as new models develop. We also expect to see significant variation in capacity and capability between different health and social care systems. However, our agility, ability, experience and expertise in both providing the infrastructure, managing and providing urgent care services as well as our technological systems means we are well placed to play a part within remote and face-to-face urgent care services in current and new localities.’