Patient Flow: Health and Care Improvement for Urgent and Emergency Care Congress

urgent care event

In July 2018 we will be working in partnership with NHS England, NHS Digital and NHS clinical leaders network to bring you a 1 day conference that will focus on Patient flow and the current methods being implemented to help reduce the demand on urgent care departments across the UK.

Each year the NHS provides around 110 million urgent same-day patient contacts. Around 85 million of these are urgent GP appointments, and the rest are A&E or minor injuries-type visits. Some estimates suggest that between 1.5 and 3 million people who come to A&E each year could have their needs addressed in other parts of the urgent care system. They turn to A&E because it seems like the best or only option. The rising pressures on A&E services also stem from continued growth in levels of emergency admissions and from delayed transfers of care when patients are fit to leave hospital. Working with NHS England we are opening open up valued discussions between peers and demonstrating the great work that is already being done across the UK

What’s been achieved in England over the past three years?

  • Cared for 23 million A&E attendances in 2016/17, 1.2 million more than three years ago.
  • Boosted the capacity and capability of NHS 111, which now takes 15 million calls each year, up from 7.5 million three years ago.
  • Expanded “Hear and Treat” and “See and Treat” ambulance services so that they now cover 3.5 million people, with the provision of telephone advice and treatment of people in their homes saving needless trips to hospital.
  • Developed an integrated urgent care model, offering a single point of entry for urgent care via NHS 111, and rolled it out to 20% of the population.
  • Increased NHS staff uptake of winter flu vaccinations from 49% last year to 63% this year – the highest ever.

Our Urgent and Emergency Care conference for 2018 will be looking into improvements across the UK for access to immediate and urgent care. We are already working with NHS England, NHS Digital, British Medical Association and Health Education to name a few. This is a great opportunity for you and your organisation to hear from both public and private sector on how to adopt change

The event will give delegates the opportunity to listen, learn and engage with some of the UK’s most reputable speakers, it will also provide 4 hours of networking time and 8 CPD points for all attendees.

Healthcare Digital Technology Congress: Sustainable change for a better future

digital health congress 2018 manchester

In 2018 we are working in partnership with NHS England, NHS Digital and Health Education England to bring you a 1 day conference that will delve into the world of innovation and technology for the healthcare sector, the event will take place in ETC Venues, Central Manchester on the 26th of June 2018.

This event will provide delegates with a live opportunity to listen, learn and engage with some of the most reputable and well established thought leaders from across the UK healthcare sector, this years key topics will include: NHS reforms: know your STPs and CCGs, Relationship-building and working with the NHS, Commissioning and contracting, IT Change Programmes and Digital Public Health

This event is designed for anyone working in the NHS, public, private, academic and third sector who would like to gain a greater understanding of how the health and care system currently works and how it is changing. Join us for an informal day of learning and networking and find out the answers to questions you’ve always been afraid to ask.

What will you learn?

You’ll hear from some of the most senior policy shapers in the country on how the government and the NHS plan to build and sustain a fully integrated and digital healthcare system:

  • how the system works: how it is structured and how money flows
  • NHS reforms: know your STPs and CCGs
  • relationship-building and working with the NHS
  • what is happening in general practice
  • commissioning and contracting
  • the future of health and social care

NHS Digital’s 2017-18 Business Plan sets out a strategy to reform pretty much all aspects of healthcare. Areas include: Patient engagement, self-care and prevention, urgent and emergency care, digital transformation in general practice, social and integrated care, digital medicines, elective care, paper free at the point of care and public trust and security.

Our upcoming Healthcare Technology Congress: Sustainable change for a digital future conference will discuss each of the above topics. Working with NHS England the conference will offer delegates a first-hand look at the current plans in place to revolutionise the healthcare sector and also give open opportunity to network with policy driving speakers and innovative solution providers.

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Raising the standard in digital health

The Deputy Chair of the new Clinical Digital Council argues that for effective digital health services and systems to succeed across the NHS improving patient care, we need agreed digital health standards which cover evidence, regulation and clinical safety:

The global market for digital health is expected to reach almost £43billion by 2018 and £408billion by 2025.

Health IT systems represent the largest market both globally and in the UK, where they contribute 66 per cent of digital health sales. But the most promising market for growth is mobile health with sales of apps and wearables predicted to increase by 35 per cent in the UK by 2018.

With the increasing value of these markets comes increased focus on the policy around health IT systems and interoperability. This is key to enabling safe and effective data exchange, but unfortunately we have discovered a lack of interoperability with digital health tools such as devices, wearables and integrated apps which need to be addressed.

What has become clear is that the market has pushed on ahead in creating high cost health IT systems, with little focus on building application programming interfaces (APIs) or allowing smaller digital health players to integrate clinically effective tools into those larger electronic health records and IT systems.

In order to address this nationally, it is clear that a standard of what is ‘good’ needs to be developed and adopted. This would allow developers to create tools and products that not only impact clinical care and improve patient outcomes, but that can also connect to and talk to other clinical systems being used within the NHS.

As part of the NHS Five Year Forward View and Next Steps, a common standard across regulators, NICE, Public Health England and other central NHS bodies to review digital health tools was developed. However, in the fast changing world of digital health, it was clear that a cross stakeholder group was needed to maintain this standard and to ensure it changed accordingly with technology developments and advancements.

A group was also needed to address emerging questions around what amounts to good evidence in the digital health space, impacts of real world data, and how we change the narrative of healthcare delivery in the digital age. And while technology in healthcare does not yet truly make intelligent decisions independently, with the pace of change it is clear we need to address these questions now.

To help address these, under the leadership of the outgoing Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), Professor Keith McNeill, the Clinical Digital Council (CDC) was set up at the end of 2017. Its membership includes senior clinical digital health leaders from across the arm’s length bodies – currently the MHRA, NICE, Care Quality Commission, Public Health England, NHS England, NHS Digital and the Department of Health.

The goal of the CDC is to ensure issues affecting digital health policy are raised in the right environment, and it acts as an advisory body to the governance and delivery groups informing the Digital Delivery Board – the governing body which decides NHS technology spending. It is a clinically-led forum for informed discussions and sharing of standards and policies relating to digital health and clinical implementation.

The CDC meets every other month under the chairmanship of the CCIO for health and care and is managed by me, as deputy chair.

Our focus this year is to:

  • Publish a digital health standard with a focus on evidence, regulation and clinical safety. This will inform the wider Health Standards and NHS Digital Service Standards Manual and procurement frameworks;
  • Create a common understanding of what is good evidence with respect to digital health, and use of real world data and trials to inform effectiveness of a product or tool;
  • Explore the challenges of machine learning and intelligent technology to policy and regulation, with an aim to creating a policy framework.

For more information on the CDC contact me at indra.joshi@nhs.net. You can also see our recently published roadmap for patient-facing digital services at www.nhs.uk/transformation

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Digital Primary Care

Digital systems are the foundation upon which we will build a modern, efficient and responsive health service. Enabling information to flow between care providers within and beyond organisational boundaries, and between care providers and patients, is a key means by which we will achieve a safe, convenient and personalised health and care service.GP IT systems sit at the heart of primary care technology facilitating and recording millions of interactions with patients every week. GP practices have led the way in the move from paper to digital record-keeping and are now well on the way to offering online transactions, such as appointment bookings and repeat prescriptions, across all practices in England. By April 2015, all practices will offer online access for patients to elements of their GP-held records.

In a challenging financial environment, IT services must not only improve the quality of care through enhancing the patients’ experience of services, but also enable the practice to realise efficiency benefits such as a reduced administrative burden. Building on the solid foundations which are already in place in primary care, NHS England will support practices to develop IT functionality which responds to the evolving needs of patients and underpins integration across care pathways.

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Urgent treatment centres

Urgent treatment centres will be GP-led, open at least 12 hours a day, every day, and be equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend A&E for.

Urgent treatment centres will ease the pressure on hospitals, leaving other parts of the system free to treat the most serious cases. The urgent treatment centre offer will result in decreased attendance at A&E, or, in co-located services, the opportunity for streaming at the front door. All urgent treatment centre services will be considered Type 3 / 4 A&E and will contribute to the 4 hour access and waiting times target locally.

Why change?

The patient always comes first, and as outlined in ‘Next Steps’ the NHS’ aim over the next two years is to provide patients with the most appropriate care in the right place, at the right time.

The reasons for this are simple. We all know where to go when life is in danger – A&E. But estimates suggest up to 3 million people who come to A&E each year could have their needs addressed elsewhere in the urgent care system, but patients tell us that the range of alternatives available can be confusing – Walk In Centres, Urgent Care Centres, Minor Injury Units and others with local names and all with differing levels of service. So A&E is understandably the default choice for many people unsure where to turn when they need urgent care or advice.

This is bad for the NHS because it puts unnecessary pressure on A&E and other parts of the urgent and emergency care system, and it’s bad for patients because many are treated in the wrong setting.

So we are introducing new urgent treatment centres, which will standardise this confusing range of options and simplify the system so patients know where to go and have clarity of which services are on offer where.

What’s happening?

The NHS will roll out around 150 urgent treatment centres by December this year and by December 2019 all services designated as urgent treatment centres will meet the guidelines we have now issued.

We have now published the guidance local areas need to get started on setting up new urgent treatment centres. The next step is for Commissioners, supported by NHS England regions, to review current provision against guidelines and make a plan for each facility. Where locally appropriate plans will be subject to consultation so the views of patients and the public will be heard.

View some of the frequently asked questions to support implementation.

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