NHS seeks views on next steps for assessing urgent care

  • NHS
  • 15 Dec 2020

  • curated by Priscilla Lynch
  • UK Medical News
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Patients, clinicians and the public are being invited by the NHS to give their views on a comprehensive set of indicators for urgent care.

The updated standards aim to capture what matters clinically and to patients, end hidden waits and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

This is the next stage in a developmental process first initiated in 2018. The proposed bundle of measures takes account of changes in the way that urgent care is delivered such as the roll-out of same day emergency care and strengthening of NHS 111.

Hospitals will be expected to see and assess patients within 15 minutes, one of 10 indicators.

Local health systems could receive a rating that reflects the whole patient journey under the bundle, developed as a result of testing those first published in the interim report of the clinically-led review of NHS access standards.

Integrated care systems would be scored on measures including 111 performance, ambulance response times and patient handovers, timely assessments and time spent in emergency departments (EDs).

Data on individual trusts' performance would still be published each month.

Taken together the measures, developed with clinical leaders, will improve patient flow to prevent crowding and ensure EDs function more efficiently and effectively than the current set of standards which date back 15 years.

The consultation is backed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Healthwatch, Doctors’ Association, College of Paramedics, Patients Association, Stroke Association, Royal College of Physicians, UK Sepsis Trust, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) on behalf of NHSCC and NHS Confederation.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it more important than ever that patients get the right care, in the right place and at the right time while being able to socially distance, the NHS said.

People can submit feedback until Friday, 12 February 2021.