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Capita and pals get £500m for ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE call centre

UK-wide deal covers 'any health-related emergency'

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The Department of Health (DH) has awarded a framework agreement to four suppliers for health-related managed contact centre services, worth up to £500m.

Capita Customer Management, 118, Vangent and MM Teleperformance have been named as the chosen suppliers. According to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, the firms will provide contact centre services across health and social care bodies throughout the UK.

"These [contact centre] services will offer a flexible on-demand solution for use in all or any of the following scenarios: pandemic, including but not limited to delivery of contact centre services for the National Pandemic Flu Service; any other health-related emergency circumstances; and any other health-related activities that require contact centre service support," says the notice.

The suppliers will be expected to provide a "comprehensive solution" to meet the needs of the bodies involved in the framework. The notice explains that this may include all the elements required to deliver contact centre services including people, processes, systems, technology, facilities and equipment.

Additional components may also be included for other service enhancements such as speech recognition, call recording, languages, and other ancillary contact centre services.

During the 2009 flu pandemic, NHS Direct was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the National Pandemic Flu Service, which was set up to assess patients with flu-like symptoms via the telephone or the internet.

The government's 111 non-emergency NHS care and advice service is set to eventually replace NHS Direct. But in June the DH extended the 111 roll-out deadline to give areas enough time to plan for the service.

The DH did not respond when asked for comment about the contract award.

This article was originally published at Government Computing.

Government Computing covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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