Integrated urgent care service

The Clinical Assessment Service (formerly known as the urgent care hub) provides additional support for NHS 111 call handlers and patients, to ensure that no clinical decision is made in isolation.

In 2018 a new Integrated Urgent Care service was launched, and the North East Ambulance Service was awarded the contract to provide the service over the next five years.

The service is accessed through NHS 111 telephone number. It also incorporates a new Clinical Assessment Service (CAS), bringing together a range of clinicians with differing specialities such as advanced practitioners, GPs and pharmacists to help patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs. The CAS builds on the work done via the UEC Vanguard Clinical Hub and incorporates arrangements to allow collaboration between local providers.

The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping patients who need medical help fast but do not need to call 999. The new service is designed to ensure that most patients’ problems are dealt with on their first call, including a consultation with a clinician where that is needed.

Health advisors and clinicians have access to a range of real-time information, including details of local services, such as GP extended hours schemes and community pharmacies, and have the ability to book appointments with local GPs, send prescriptions directly to a convenient pharmacy or dispatch an ambulance where that is necessary.

As one of the NHS’s ‘vanguard’ areas, the improvements we had made in the North East informed the new national specification for integrated urgent care resulting in the implementation of this service. The vision for integrated urgent care is explained in the NHS England video below.

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