Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for the planning and funding of local healthcare services, announced that from today (25 February), patients in Somerset who become ill overnight or need urgent medical advice, support or treatment will benefit from a more responsive and joined-up urgent care service.
The new Integrated Urgent Care service will provide integrated 24/7urgent care access, clinical advice and treatment service by bringing together the NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours services, with the introduction of a Clinical Assessment Service (CAS). The CAS will enable appropriate calls to NHS 111 to be transferred to a team of GPs and other healthcare professionals.
The aim of the service is to complete the episode of care, where clinically appropriate, over the telephone. This will streamline and improve the care patients receive by:
- Increasing clinical consultation for those contacting NHS 111 (telephone or online)
- Ensuring only those patients that genuinely need to attend Accident & Emergency/Emergency Department or use the ambulance service are advised to do so
- Directing patients to the most appropriate service/healthcare professional, if it has not been possible to resolve the issue over the phone.
Devon Doctors already provides an Integrated Urgent Care Service tomore than a million people in Devon. It is a social enterprise, which means it is driven not by the pursuit of profit but by a desire to provide patients with the best possible care.
David Freeman, Somerset CCG’s Chief Officer said:
“The Governing Body of Somerset CCG is pleased to introduce this new Integrated Urgent Care service which develops our local services in line with national strategic objectives; moving from an ‘assess and refer’ to a ‘consult and complete’ model of service delivery.
“The Integrated Urgent Care service is accessed by calling NHS 111 or going online (https://111.nhs.uk) and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to the population of Somerset. For those patients that require clinical input, a suitably skilled healthcare professional will be available to provide a highly effective assessment and consultation of their needs.”
Dr Justin Geddes, Chief Executive of Devon Doctors Ltd said:
“We are delighted to deliver Somerset’s Integrated Urgent Care Service. Our service is founded on integration with local providers of service including GPs, hospital trusts and community and mental health services. In particular, the NHS 111 element of the service will be provided with our partner Care UK, a well-established and very experienced provider of 111 and integrated urgent care services.
“We expect the new service to not only bring benefits to the Somerset healthcare community, but also an improved experience for patients.”