Accident and Emergency Departments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to alleviate pressure on Accident and Emergency departments, including through the provision of alternative services, in the light of the closure of a number of walk-in clinics.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The NHS Long Term Plan builds on work from the Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View, which set out an ambition to roll out new Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) which would be open 12 hours a day, seven days a week and be integrated with local urgent care services. UTCs will provide a consistent level of care for patients to be seen in clinically appropriate settings, without the need to attend an accident and emergency (A&E) department. The Long Term Plan states that there are currently 110 UTCs in operation.

Services that will not become UTCs may become a general practitioner (GP) Access Hub or another non-urgent primary and community care service. Where services are closing or changing function the guidelines in planning, assuring and delivering service change, including public consultation, will be followed as necessary.

UTCs will work alongside other parts of the urgent care network and commissioners are bringing services together to be part of locally integrated urgent and emergency care services, working together with the ambulance service, NHS111, local GPs, community pharmacists and other community-based services to provide a locally accessible and convenient alternative to A&E for patients who do not need to attend hospital.

The NHS Long Term Plan ensures that work, supported by £33.9 billion in cash terms (the equivalent of £20.5 billion in real terms) by 2023/24, will continue to reduce pressure on emergency hospital services, by expanding and reforming urgent and emergency care with the goal of ensuring patients get the care they need quickly, whilst relieving the pressure on A&E departments.

Patients are increasingly able to access urgent care outside of hospitals through services such as improved NHS111 access, UTCs and evening and weekend GP appointments.

This year the Government provided £1.6 billion to further support the NHS, allowing it to continue treating even more patients in A&E. In addition, an extra £420 million to redevelop A&Es, improve emergency care and help get patients home quicker was provided in advance of the winter period.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.