Urgent and emergency care
Our vision for urgent care is simple - when Tower Hamlets residents have an urgent care need, we want them to receive high quality care from the right person, in the right place and at the right time.
Tower Hamlets CCG commissions a range of urgent care services. These include the A&E Department and the Urgent Care Centre at the Royal London Hospital, and the London Ambulance Service. There is also a GP out of hours service commissioned by NHS England, and two walk in centres at The Barkantine and St Andrew’s Health Centre.
Understanding why people use A&E when they could use other services
Through our research, we have found that every year in Tower Hamlets, around 1 in 4 people going to the A&E Department at the Royal London Hospital may have been seen and treated quicker had they gone to their local GP, pharmacy, or even rested at home. Young males under the age of 30 and mothers of young children make up a large proportion of the people who go to A&E when they could have used other services.
In November 2013, we began a piece of work to understand what motivated these people go to the A&E Department and how we could support them to access the right services in the future. Through a series of focus group meetings, we developed a set of posters which are now displayed across the borough in places such as GP surgeries, pharmacies and community venues. Click here to have a look at the posters. We also developed a leaflet to hand out to patients whilst they are waiting in the A&E Department which explains how they will be assessed and which options are available for them. You can read this here.
At the focus group meetings, we were also told that the urgent care system can be complex and confusing and it would be helpful if the CCG did more to explain to local people what services are available as an alternative to A&E. We plan to do this in 2014/15 and will shortly start working with the local community and voluntary sector to start the planning for this project. Watch this space for more information.
If you have any questions or want to find out more about this work, please contact:
Rahima Miah, CCG Transformation Manager
020 3688 2523