The vanguard and the people it serves
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is working with local health partners to develop and improve local urgent and emergency health and care services.
As a part of the vanguard programme, the partners will accelerate improvements already underway and implement a best practice model for urgent care services. In particular, the vanguard aims to address variations in access to services and health inequalities in the region.
The partners include:
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
- Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
- Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Herts Urgent Care
- Urgent Care Cambridge
- East of England Ambulance Trust
- Cambridgeshire County Council
- Peterborough City Council
- Cambridgeshire Crisis Care Concordat Board
- voluntary and community sector organisations.
Together they serve a population of 922,000.
What is changing?
Local urgent and emergency health services will provide safer, faster and better care for patients.
The programme partners will change the way they work together to join up an often confusing range of A&E, GP services, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services, community services and the NHS 111 non-emergency number so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effectively, seven days a week.
This will include providing a 24/7 mental health crisis care service within the community that patients can access directly without needing a referral.
This work will be supported by the national team, which is helping the vanguard develop better joined-up commissioning (purchasing) and service delivery.
Plans include putting in place the right people to deliver the changes, including GPs, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, community pharmacists and other staff equipped to meet various mental and physical health needs.
The programme, which is being led by clinicians, is split into five workstreams:
- NHS 111/out of hours clinical hub
- Admission avoidance/community access
- In-hospital emergency care
- Post hospital discharge
- Mental health
- Hospital, community, mental health and social care services to work more closely together to provide patients with safer, faster, and better care seven days a week
- Care will be delivered in, or as close as possible to, people’s homes
- Patients will be treated in centres with the very best expertise and facilities in order to maximise their chances of survival and a good recovery.
Contact Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
1. Improved access to mental health crisis support
A new scheme is offering a crisis response to people referred to mental health services as an emergency, including out-of-hours support.
Elaine Young, project lead at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, said: “We know that people in mental health crisis often end up at A&E because there isn’t an alternative out-of-hours service. We already provide support in acute hospitals and police stations but this pilot will mean that we can look at further ways of improving urgent and emergency treatment.”
The pilot includes:
- A first response coordinator and practitioner – specialists who provide mental health assessments in the community out-of-hours;
- Enhanced support in Addenbrooke’s Hospital for people in mental health crisis from 8am to 1am every day;
- A ‘safe place’ run by the voluntary sector offering short-term support for people in crisis;
- A new mental health team in the police control room to offer advice and guidance to officers; and
- An improved crisis service for children and young people.
A service user who was supported before the pilot launched said: “In my experience, being admitted to the psychiatric hospital during an acute crisis often led to those episodes lasting longer. I feel if I’d had access to appropriate support and safe spaces in the build-up to, and during, my crisis I would have been able to avoid things escalating to the point where I needed emergency services. I would have felt more in control and more confident about managing my own mental health.”
Supporting people in a mental health crisis in the community will help reduce the numbers of people going to A&E when they could have received appropriate care elsewhere.