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Transforming urgent and emergency care services

A new project by the RCP's Health Informatics Unit will contribute to the transformation of integrated urgent care services (IUC), incorporating NHS 111 call-handling and former GP out-of-hours (OOH) services, through widespread consultation with patients, healthcare professionals and industry.

Information sharing requirements

The project aims to standardise the information available to and recorded by IUC services, as well as the information that they communicate with other providers. It follows the development by NHS England of a new national service specification for the provision of an integrated 24/7 urgent care access, clinical advice and treatment service. 

At the moment, clinicians working in NHS 111 and GP OOH services often don’t have all the information they need to identify the most appropriate service to which to refer the patient. And then, the information they record may not be passed on, meaning the patient has to repeat their story at each point. The HIU project hopes to enable interoperable information sharing between IUC and other providers to support person-centred integrated care.

New clinical assessment service

Every year, NHS 111 receives over 14 million phone calls. This is not including the millions of additional calls made to OOH services. With such a high demand on these services, it’s important that there’s a proper joined up approach to out of hours services in the NHS.

We expect a new clinical assessment service (CAS) – accessed through the NHS 111 number – will become the key coordinating function for all urgent care needs. The CAS will know the current demand on services and be able to direct patients to the most appropriate available service. More than 50% of those 14 million calls to NHS 111 are expected to lead to the patient speaking directly to a clinician within the CAS.

Consultation workshop

In partnership with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB), the RCP is hosting a scoping review on Monday 4 June 2018 to identify the types of information that need to be recorded by integrated urgent care services and communicated along the patient journey in a usable form.

The purpose is for patients, health and care professionals and industry to contribute to the proposed IUC information requirements. Your participation will help the HIU to make recommendations about how detailed standards should be developed and implemented to support the patient journey.