The drive to change Urgent Care has led to the formation of Urgent and Emergency Care Networks across the country. These networks involve commissioners and providers, in our case across the Thames Valley, who come together to plan the transformation of Urgent Care Services.
Last year Healthwatch Bucks released a report on Urgent Care highlighting issues and making recommendations for improving services. This placed Healthwatch Bucks as the ideal partner to provide a Board member to the Thames Valley network. Richard Corbett (Chief Executive) has undertaken this role for Healthwatch across the Thames Valley.
The initial task of the network was to complete a stocktake of services. This stocktake includes the findings and recommendations of the Healthwatch Bucks Urgent Care report as key background information. Based on the stocktake the Board has now identified three priority work streams. These are:
- Integrated NHS 111 / Urgent care services
- Workforce planning
- Patient/Public Communication and Engagement
Our presence on the Board has placed us at the table to advocate for the changes the Urgent Care report highlighted as critical to the development of services.
We are confident that Dr Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer of Chiltern CCG and Chair of the Urgent and Emergency Care Network will be instrumental in turning words into changes in the way Urgent Care services are both delivered and communicated to the public.