NHS emergency care pilots get under way

27 Jul 15

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has set out the next step for reforms to urgent and emergency care in the health service, with eight parts of the country being chosen to trial widespread changes.

Under the plans, which form part of the Five Year Forward View, areas including the North East of England, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire will be given support to provide urgent care in a range of new settings.

These will include expanding provision for such treatment away from hospitals and into areas including GPs, pharmacists, community teams, ambulance services, NHS 111 and social care.

The projects are intended to help spread the best practice developed through the creation of Regional Major Trauma Networks three years ago, which have seen a 50% increase in survival odds for trauma patients.

Building on this performance, the pilots aim to improve the way organisations work together to provide care in a more joined up way, Stevens announced on Friday. They will be supported by a £200m transformation fund.

“Starting today, the NHS will begin joining up the often confusing array of A&E, GP out of hours, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services and 111 so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effectively, seven days a week,” he said.

“That’s why we’re backing what our frontline nurses, doctors and other staff, in partnership with local communities, to radically redesign our urgent and emergency services.”

Among the plans, services in the North East will be integrated to ensure that patients in remote rural locations get the care they need, including a rapid specialist opinion should they need one.

A network in West Yorkshire will launch mobile treatment services and, working with mental health providers and the police, create rapid crisis response and street triage services.

The project in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will focus on establishing same-day response teams for urgent care, made up of GPs, acute hospital staff and community nursing.

Keith Willett, NHS England’s director of acute care is leading the transformation programme. He said these schemes proved “a modern NHS needs a very different approach and shows, we can transform patient care”.

Willett added: “These networks and new vanguards will support and improve all our local urgent and emergency care services, such as A&E departments, urgent care centres, GPs, NHS 111 and community, social care and ambulance services, so no one is working isolated from expert advice 24 hours a day.

“All over the country there are pockets of best practice yielding enormous benefits; but to ensure our urgent care services are sustainable for the future every region must begin delivering faster, better and safer care. Now it is time for the new urgent and emergency care vanguards to design the best solutions locally.”
The vanguard sites, which are made up of hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups, mental health trusts, local government, social care and the voluntary sector, are:

• South Nottingham System Resilience Group
• Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
• North East Urgent Care Network
• Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge System Resilience Group
• West Yorkshire Urgent Emergency Care Network
• Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland System Resilience Group
• Solihull Together for Better Lives
• South Devon and Torbay System Resilience Group

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