The NHS in England has announced a new ‘’vanguard’’ project in Peterborough aimed at driving forward more integration between health and social care.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is one of eight bodies across the country chosen to pioneer a move which will see the “transformation” of urgent and emergency care for more than nine million people.
It aims to change the way organisations work together to provide care in a more joined up way.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said it would link up the “often confusing array of A&E, GP out of hours, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services and 111 so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effortlessly, seven days a week”.
Another aim is to break down boundaries between physical and mental health.
It follows the first wave of 29 vanguard sites which were announced in March and are all part of NHS England’s five-year plan, the Five Year Forward View.
Six vanguards will cover smaller local systems, which may include hospitals and surrounding GP practices and social care, while two network vanguards will be working with much larger populations to integrate care on a greater scale.
In north-east England, services across the region will be aligned to a single joined-up system to ensure all patients including those living in remote rural locations will get the care they need, including a rapid specialist opinion should they need one.
The West Yorkshire network will launch mobile treatment services and, working with mental health providers and the police, create rapid crisis response and street triage services.
Other vanguards, such as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, will focus on establishing same-day response teams with GPs, acute home-visiting and crisis response services, community nursing, an older people’s assessment unit and a new urgent care centre.
The announcement about the new sites comes as frontline emergency services face rising pressure, with increased A&E attendances and emergency admissions, and both ambulance and NHS 111 services facing rising demands.
Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s director of acute care, who is leading the urgent and emergency care transformation, said: “This proves a modern NHS needs a very different approach and shows we can transform patient care.
“These networks and new vanguards will support and improve all our local urgent and emergency care services, such as A&E departments, urgent care centres, GPs, NHS 111 and community, social care and ambulance services, so no-one is working isolated from expert advice 24 hours a day. All over the country there are pockets of best practice yielding enormous benefits, but to ensure our urgent care services are sustainable for the future every region must begin delivering faster, better and safer care.
“Now it is time for the new urgent and emergency care vanguards to design the best solutions locally.”
The new vanguard projects are:
South Nottingham System Resilience Group
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
North East Urgent Care Network
Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge System Resilience Group
West Yorkshire Urgent Emergency Care Network
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland System Resilience Group
Solihull Together for Better Lives
South Devon and Torbay System Resilience Group