We have now published our latest report ‘Breaking the mould without breaking the system: new ideas and resources for clinical commissioners on the journey towards integrated 24/7 urgent care’ and it is now available to download CLICK HERE. It is published in partnership with the NHS Alliance and was originally funded by the Department of Health.
This resource is designed to offer ideas and inspiration to everyone responsible for commissioning urgent and emergency care in the UK, in particular, the new clinical commissioning groups in England. Although the current changes offer opportunities for new people to bring a fresh perspective, it is a considerable challenge when there is also a loss of potential experience and expertise. This resource attempts to capture some of the insights gained over the last few years, with the aim of accelerating the learning process of those who are coming to this for the first time.
Experience: The Primary Care Foundation and the NHS Alliance have extensive experience in reviewing and shaping urgent care policy and practice. The Primary Care Foundation was commissioned by the Department of Health between 2007 and 2010 to review and develop services across the spectrum of urgent care: from urgent care in general practice, to establishing a national benchmark for out-of-hours services, plus a review of primary care in emergency departments and an, as yet unpublished, review of urgent care centres. The NHS Alliance represents the majority of out-of-hours providers in England and has an urgent primary care leadership group, with chief executives and medical directors elected by their peers.
Evidence: the aim here is to distil the evidence from our work, highlighting what has been shown to work, as well as debunking myths. In addition, we refer to the most recent evidence from others, such as the findings from the December 2010 King’s Fund paper Avoiding hospital admissions: what does the research evidence say? If you are going to break the mould, you need to move forward based on evidence rather than assumptions or anecdote.
Case studies: these examples cover the work of urgent care commissioners over the last five years; they focus on specific aspects of commissioning, such as developing strong relationships between commissioners and provider, or addressing the needs of those in care homes. We do not present them as best practice – in fact, the attraction of some of these case studies is their honesty in addressing where they have gone wrong and how you might avoid some of their mistakes in the future.
We welcome your thoughts on any aspect of this report. If you need support locally with commissioning urgent care, please email Rick Stern at
The Primary Care Foundation was established to support the development of best practice in primary and urgent care. The three Directors bring different skills and perspectives to understanding primary and urgent health care - for more details click below:
We also work with a number of associates
A discussion paper: Urgent Care Centres - What works best? has been published. To read the full report CLICK HERE. We were looking for prompt care, provided in an appropriate environment with strong governance processes and clarity for patients so that they understood when to choose the urgent care centre rather than other services such as A&E, their GP or out of hours.
We are working with increasing numbers of practice to improve access and urgent care in general practice. If you would like to know more about our web based tool and customised reports based on a week of practice data and join the 1,000 practices currently working with us across the UK, please email Rick Stern at email@example.com
The benchmark of out of hours services is available. To interact with the data and download reports CLICK HERE. To read the overall analysis of the findings CLICK HERE. The benchmark covers more than two thirds of the PCT areas in England and, for the first time, participants have agreed that the data should be published in a way that allows individual services to be identified. To read the press release CLICK HERE.
Rick Stern has taken up the role of Chief Executive of the NHS Alliance from 16 April 2012. He will still be working for half the week as a Director of the Primary Care Foundation
Our report ‘Breaking the mould without breaking the system: new ideas and resources for clinical commissioners on the journey towards integrated 24/7 urgent care’ is now available to download CLICK HERE. It is published in partnership with the NHS Alliance.
For an independent view of our work with practices on access and urgent care CLICK HERE for the article in the HSJ on 24th November 2011