Urgent care event photoMore than 100 healthcare professionals and specialists from across the region have come together to help develop an improved way of delivering urgent and emergency care services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The intensive two-day event, which took place at Ashton Court Stadium, Bristol, allowed experts from across the local health and care system to work together on re-designing how services such as A&E, NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours can work together more cohesively and consistently to manage the ever increasing demand.

The new plans will begin to help address significant workforce, performance and capacity challenges and support health services to best meet the needs of local people who need immediate care.

Kiaran Flanagan, Consultant in Acute Medicine and Divisional Clinical Director for Medicine at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “In recent years we have seen demand for urgent and emergency care services rapidly increase in our area. Surprisingly we are particularly seeing a surge in people aged between 20 and 40 accessing urgent care. I know from my role at NBT that this puts enormous pressure on our Emergency Department and acute specialties, we need to do things differently across urgent care services in hospital and in the community to maintain safe, high quality services for our patients.

She added: “Coming together to work in an accelerated way has provided us with the opportunity to focus intensively upon creating a more joined up urgent and emergency care system that we all can collectively own and run.”

Peter Brindle, GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This intensive two day event has allowed us to harness the skills and experience of around 100 local nurses, doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, finance specialists and operational leads.  We have been able to make significant progress in designing a new way of working that we own collectively over all organisations that deliver health and care services.  It would have otherwise taken us many months to design and agree this and so we are now able to deliver change for winter 2019.”

Kathy Ryan, GP and Medical Director, BrisDoc said: “We absolutely want people who need urgent and emergency care to get the best service that is relevant to their needs. It’s been really heartening to see the courage and commitment of so many colleagues to work with us to recognise the current challenges and be willing to come together to work differently and build a new model for urgent and emergency care services.”

Plans developed during the event will now be implemented over the coming year to improve urgent care responses in winter 2019.

You can find out more about urgent and emergency care services available in the area by visiting the CCG Health Services website page.