Our vision for Urgent and Emergency Care is to create a health and care system that provides responsive, accessible person-centred services as close to home as possible. It will be a model in which services will wrap care around the individual, promoting self-care and independence, enhancing recovery and reablement, through integrated health and social care services that exploit innovation and promote care in the right setting at the right time. As well as urgent and emergency care provider, acute care, community services, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and General Practice have a pivotal role to play in this ambition. We believe that a fully integrated Urgent and Emergency Care system with consistency of access, will make it easier for patients to navigate our system and use alternatives acute services where appropriate.
In November 2016 the West Midlands CCGs authorised the commissioning of England’s first fully integrated Urgent and Emergency Care service. Over the preceding years the lead commissioners and clinicians for this service have worked tirelessly to develop and refine the service model. West Midlands CCGs are now taking this opportunity to build on the foundation of the current service, launching a new, truly integrated urgent and emergency care service across 999/NHS 111 and Out of Hours (OOH) Primary Care, which will be the first of its kind in the country.
The new service model will go live from April 2020 and will be a more efficient and effective use of NHS resources, providing the right care at the right time.
Central to the new service will be the 999/111 Integrated Urgent Care Call Handling and the Integrated Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) offering patients who require it, access to highly trained call advisors and a wide range of experienced generalists and specialist clinicians.The CAS will also offer advice to health and other care professionals in the community, such as paramedics and nurses in residential homes, so that no decision needs to be taken in isolation.
NHS 111 First
From the 30th November, instead of attending an Emergency Department unannounced, patients will be encouraged to use NHS 111 online or by phone to book an appointment with a service that best fits their need.
That could be one of a variety of existing out-of-hospital services, an assessment service at an acute hospital, or an appointment with a GP or dentist.
In cases where it is appropriate, patients will be given a ‘time slot’ appointment at the Emergency Department itself.