Let's talk... urgent care

Background

NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG is committed to working with our patients and the public as partners. We are also committed to putting patients and the public at the heart of all we do; we want patients and local people to be directly involved in our work, helping us to shape local health services.

Each year the CCG runs an engagement campaign focusing on key issues - ‘Let’s Talk…’ is the banner under which we do this.

Context

In 2017-18, the CCG is focused on two clear areas of work:

  • The financial recovery and stabilisation of the CCG;
  • The transformation of local services to integrate local care and support for people across Coastal West Sussex.

Urgent care is the services you use when you need NHS help and support urgently, such as on the day GP appointments, minor injury units, NHS 111 and A&E;

The CCG is working to commission an Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) Service. This is aligned to the need to procure the NHS111 service and General Practice Out of Hours (OOH) service, and the need to meet the mandated requirements of the national Integrated Urgent Care specification, in particular around the introduction of urgent treatment centres (UTCs).

To support this work the CCG will be speaking to people about developments of a new Integrated Urgent Care service in Coastal West Sussex to ensure that patients have the information and support that they need to make informed choices about their health care.

The roadshow

During early summer 2018, the Communications and Engagement team were out visiting venues across the CWS area to start raising awareness of the proposed plans and introducing new terminology such as Urgent Treatment Centres. In brief the conversations were centred on the following three points:

  • The introduction of three Urgent Treatment Centres at existing sites in CWS providing walk-in and bookable appointments for up to sixteen hours a day;
  • Provision of four or five GP access hubs across Coastal West Sussex (including one in a rural locality) providing appointments up until 10pm during the week as well as sessions on Saturdays and Sundays;
  • A local visiting service working across both the GP access hubs and the Urgent Treatment Centres will be a visiting out of hours team of health professionals that can get out to the house bound and those that can’t make it into one of these bases easily.

Where we visited

To date, the team have roadshows at the following venues:

  • Monday 14 May Westgate Leisure Centre Chichester
  • Tuesday 15 May Northbrook Metropolitan College West Durrington Campus
  • Tuesday 22 May Worthing Library Worthing
  • Monday 4 June Tesco Pulborough
  • Thursday 7 June Chichester Library Chichester
  • Thursday 14 June Out of Bounds Activity Centre Rustington
  • Tuesday 19 June Littlehampton town centre Littlehampton
  • Tuesday 26 June Sainsbury Superstore Bognor Regis

Promotional materials

The Communications and Engagement team have produced a postcard which they are handing out and gives a summary of the proposed changes:

These leaflets are available by contacting the engagement team:

What we heard

We spoke to around 150 people and generally reactions to the changes have been positive particularly around the need to relieve pressure on A&E by having an alternative service. For many, the default is to attend A&E as we know that people find current services confusing and unclear.

Key themes

  • Clear messaging and signposting needed:
    • Explanation of the difference between A&E, UTCs and access hubs;
    • Location of GP access hubs.
  • Concern about the effect on staff and the ambulance service
  • Ensuring mental health provision is considered within the UTCs
  • Geographical concerns in some areas:
    • Pulborough: plans for Horsham Hospital
    • Littlehampton: concern and frustration about the historic issues surrounding the Health Centre and the lack of UTC in the town.
  • Public and patient transport is a concern especially for people in our rural communities.
  • Difficulties in getting a GP appointment
  • Proposed housing development and the effect on already stretched GP services

What happens next?

This report will feed into the Integrated Urgent Care programme to help influence decisions about changes to the service and to how we tell people about those changes. We will share it with our partners across the health and care system.