Urgent care

Discussions from Bedfordshire Stakeholder Forums

10 April

Delegates were asked to discuss where on the new spectrum of care 'heat map' chart they would like to see care delivered for various conditions and situations. View feedback for Urgent Care.

26 February

The first meeting of the Bedfordshire Stakeholder Forum of local residents and organisations was on 26 February 2014. Here is a summary of the opening discussion from the Urgent Care group.

  • The consensus was that treatment for unscheduled care is generally good and that very serious conditions get prompt attention from GPs.
  • Examples of good care included one woman’s treatment for breast cancer at Bedford Hospital. She said it was coherent and well organised, and asked how this best practice could be spread. Best practice should also be taken from other industries – for example, a cardiac team had been studying techniques from Formula 1 motor racing.
  • Open walk-in surgeries are regarded as a cost effective alternative to A&E. Sometimes people are pushed to A&E because it takes a long time to get things sorted on the phone.
  • Flexibility is key. One person cited the example of a hospital having only a limited number of emergency slots for ultrasound.
  • People don’t really know what the 111 service is for, with one person saying it wasn’t available in their area.

Participants were asked to rate aspects of healthcare provision. You can see the output from this 'target exercise' here.

The group developed the following priorities and ranked them in the following order of importance:

  • ‘999’ service
  • 24-hour GP care/more services at GP surgeries
  • Emergency Room - this term was deliberately chosen over the traditional ‘A&E’ to distinguish the priority of health emergencies from accidental injury and to encompass complex, life-threatening conditions such as heart-attack.
  • Immediate care – alternatives to A&E
  • Better use of IT and better communication
  • Integrated healthcare records across organisations
  • 24/7 service across urgent care spectrum appropriately staffed
  • Walk-In Centres
  • Tests – urgent diagnostics available in the community
  • More budget for social care