The NHS Long Term Plan sets out how we will continue to support patients to access the correct service by dissolving the historic divide between primary and community healthcare.
Through a single Clinical Assessment Service (CAS), healthcare professionals working outside of a hospital setting, staff within care homes, paramedics and other community-based clinicians will be able to make the best possible decision about how to support patients closer to home, potentially avoiding unnecessary trips to A&E.
In support of this, NHS 111 will maintain its place as the ‘first line of defence’ for the Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) system by:
- Starting direct bookings into GP practices across the country, as well as refer on to community pharmacies who support urgent care;
- Using the CAS to simplify the process for GPs, ambulance services, community teams and social care to make referrals via a single point of access for urgent response from community health services;
- Supporting full implementation of the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) model so all localities have a consistent offer for out-of-hospital urgent care, with the option of appointments booked through NHS 111;
- Becoming the single universal point of access for people experiencing mental health crisis by 2023/24, ensuring that anyone experiencing mental health crisis can call NHS 111 and have 24/7 access to the mental health support they need in the community.
Watch this short video below to find out more about transforming NHS 111 to integrated urgent care.