The Five Year Forward View Next Steps is clear on this: over the next two years, patients with less severe conditions will find it easier to access urgent care clinical advice, on the phone and online. Plans include rolling out enhanced triage across urgent care services, and potentially to urgent treatment centres, care homes and ambulance services. GP out of hours and 111 services will increasingly be combined. By 2019, NHS 111 will be able to book people into urgent face to face appointments where this is needed.
As part of this transformation, NHS 111 is being enhanced so that patients access urgent care services that have been fully integrated. Patients calling NHS 111 who need clinical input will be transferred to a Care Clinical Assessment Service (CAS). They will speak directly to a clinician who will seek to complete the call there and then without the need to transfer the patient elsewhere.
The CAS team will be able to directly book patients into an appointment at an Urgent Treatment Centre following a clinical assessment over the phone.
Staff have to be ready to deliver these changes. They need the right framework to support them in making these changes effective and safe for patients. This need is recognised, and a joint programme of work between NHS England and Health Education England is in place to develop an optimal Integrated Urgent Care workforce.
This programme of work is designing a career structure to ensure the right skills, knowledge, competencies and behaviours are in place, and that staff are trained and supported, through:
- Increasing the capability and competence of staff in NHS 111 and urgent care call centres
- Managing problems with staff attrition and high turnover
- Increasing the proportion of calls resolved through telephone advice including clinical advice on the phone
- Decreasing inappropriate ambulance conveyance to emergency departments.
Resources are being developed to support commissioners and providers deliver the Five Year Forward View Next Steps, in line with the Integrated Urgent Care Service Specification.
Integrated Urgent Care/NHS 111 Workforce Blueprint
In partnership with HEE, the programme is developing a range of products for publication in 2017/18. These are the result of extensive research, engagement, piloting and testing activities with key stakeholders. Together they constitute the Integrated Urgent Care/NHS 111 Workforce Blueprint, which is referenced in the National Service Specification for Integrated Urgent Care Services.
The Blueprint will comprise the following elements:
- Career Framework; competency based job descriptions Skills for Health Levels 2-7
- Core and specialist competencies Skills for Health Levels 7-9
- Apprenticeship scheme
- Workforce Governance Guide
- Workforce Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Accreditation of education and training
- Leadership development
- Workforce modelling
- Career of choice
- Workforce Survey Recommendations Report
- National Service Specification for Integrated Urgent Care Services – August 2017
- Working up close with NHS 111 – A patient’s perspective – July 2016
- Workforce Investment Fund evaluation report – phase 1 – October 2016
- NHS 111 call handlers feature on the Health Careers website as a career of choice within the health system
- Pharmacy Integration Fund
- HEE – Developing the NHS 111 Workforce
- Integrated Urgent Care Sketch – February 2017
- NHS 111 – An inclusive service – Help for people with a learning disability, autism or both, to use NHS 111 – February 2017
- Integrated Urgent Care Workforce Development Programme Conference – November 2016
- The Integrated Urgent Care Workforce Development Programme Film – April 2016
If you have any questions about the Integrated Urgent Care/NHS 111 Workforce Development Programme, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.