Integrated urgent and emergency care

Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care (UEC) services

To support recovery, the UEC plan sets out a number of ambitions, including:

  • Patients being seen more quickly in emergency departments: with the ambition to improve to 76% of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours by March 2024, with further improvement in 2024/25.
  • Ambulances getting to patients quicker: with improved ambulance response times for Category 2 incidents to 30 minutes on average over 2023/24, with further improvement in 2024/25 towards pre-pandemic levels.

Read and download: Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services

National evaluation of urgent community response

Integrated urgent and emergency care (IUEC) improvement champions can use the initial findings from the national evaluation of urgent community response (UCR) as a resource while undertaking their UCR improvement projects as part of the universal support offer for UEC.

NHS England commissioned the Strategy Unit at Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit to conduct a multi-year, two-part evaluation. This national evaluation is the first of its kind to try to demonstrate the impact of an urgent at-home care service and will build evidence of what works best.

This initial phase of the evaluation includes a process evaluation and report and an economic modelling tool, which are the key outputs from the first year and a half of the evaluation. The initial qualitative findings report is now available on the Strategy Unit’s website. Key findings include:

  • support from the sites around the 2-hour waiting time standard for UCR and operating service model due to its perceived benefits in preventing deterioration among patients, reducing pressures on other health services, providing care in the community and enhancing cross-system working
  • the sites took different approaches to the way they set up their teams, data collection, and use of resources to deliver at-home care within a two-hour timeframe. All the sites that were evaluated built their UCR service from existing provision
  • the physical co-location of teams was identified as a key success factor for delivery by enabling better communication and decision-making.

The final phase of the evaluation will be published in spring 2024 and includes:

  • key learnings from implementing UCR
  • proposals for policy changes to support integrated care boards to understand what works best
  • an updated economic model
  • an impact evaluation, which will focus on how UCR has met the needs of individuals and prevented further clinical deterioration as well as UCR’s impact on UEC.


Same day emergency care (SDEC)

Winter Improvement Collaborative