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GPs link to new emergency ‘vanguard’ sites

Vanguards to improve OOH links into urgent and emergency care

Adrian O'Dowd

Friday, 24 July 2015

GPs will play an important part in eight new “vanguard” sites for urgent and emergency care that have been announced today by NHS England.

The vanguards are intended to transform this care for more than nine million people and link GP out-of-hours care better with local urgent and emergency care services.

These vanguards will have to change the way in which all organisations work together to provide care in a more joined up way for patients.

Under the plans, 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.

The eight new sites will, like other vanguards, benefit from a programme of support and investment from the government’s £200m transformation fund.

The vanguards are:

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

Six vanguards will cover smaller local systems which may include hospitals and surrounding GP practices and social care, while two network vanguards will work with much larger populations to integrate care on a greater scale.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland vanguard, for example, will focus on establishing same-day response teams with GPs, acute home-visiting and crisis response services, community nursing, an older people’s assessment unit and a new urgent care centre.

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 effectively, 7 days a week.

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

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.”

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