NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the NHS Five Year Forward View partners today (Friday) announced eight new vanguards that will launch the transformation of urgent and emergency care for more than nine million people, including an initiative based in Solihull, West Midlands.
Building on the recent success in improving trauma survival rates, the urgent and emergency care vanguards are tasked with changing the way in which all organisations work together to provide care in a more joined up way for patients.
Urgent care will be delivered, not just in hospitals but also by GPs, pharmacists, community teams, ambulance services, NHS 111, social care and others, and through patients being given support and education to manage their own conditions. Another aim is to break down boundaries between physical and mental health to improve the quality of care and experience for all.
The eight new vanguards will spearhead this work and, like other vanguards, will benefit from a programme of support and investment from the £200m transformation fund.
Six vanguards will cover smaller local systems which may include hospitals and surrounding GP practices and social care, while two network vanguards will be working with much larger populations to integrate care on a greater scale.
This will include innovative plans such as the Solihull Together for Better Lives, which comprises the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, NHS Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, primary care and lay members representative of the Solihull population.
The partnership will create an integrated health and care system that extends healthy active life and optimises preventative out of hospital care with rapid access to specialist care. This will be both in and out of hospital when needed, including access to other wellbeing services both at the hospital and in the community.
This will involve building an Urgent Care Centre within the hospital site capable of delivering a minor illness and minor injury service in line with the description of Urgent Care Centres given within the Keogh report, which includes GP out of hours, urgent primary care and minor injury services.
The partnership's redesigning care models for older people - from prevention and early intervention through to end of life care - will alter the balance of care provided in both hospital and the community, reducing pressure on secondary care services.
NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, said: “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 effortlessly, seven days a week. 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."
Professor Chris Moran, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Trauma Care, said: “It’s enormously rewarding for the NHS and the people it serves that in just three years we have seen a fifty per cent increase in the odds of survival with life-threatening injuries, that’s hundreds more patients saved since the networks started.”
Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director of Acute Care, who is leading the Urgent and Emergency Care transformation, said: “This proves a modern NHS needs a very different approach and shows, we can transform patient care.
“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.”
Today’s launch of the vanguards comes in the face of pressure on all NHS frontline emergency services, with increased A&E attendances and emergency admissions, and both ambulance and NHS 111 services facing rising demands.
The Urgent and Emergency Care vanguards are a key element within the NHS Five Year Forward View which is a partnership between NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Monitor, the Trust Development Authority, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and represent the next step in the transformation of Urgent and Emergency Care for the NHS announced by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, in 2013.