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GPs to work in A&Es and mobile care units as NHS England announces eight new ‘vanguards’

GPs will be placed in A&E departments and out-of-hours GP services will be integrated with ambulance services and NHS 111 as part of NHS England’s new pilots to reduce urgent and emergency care pressures

The eight ‘vanguard’ areas will also trial greater sharing of patient records with A&E services, and ambulatory care units that can come to people’s home rather than them going to A&E unnecessarily.

The pilot areas these new models will receive support from NHS England centrally in the form of advice and an unspecified amount of money from the £200m transformation fund announced with last year’s Autumn Statement.

The scheme was announced as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View last year, and followed the review into urgent and emergency case by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of NHS England.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘Starting today, the NHS will begin joining up the often confusing array of A&E, GP out of hours, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services and 111 so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effortlessly, seven days a week.’

It comes as NHS England announced its first set of ‘vanguards’ trialling new models of general practices earlier in the year.

The eight urgent and emergency care vanguards

  • Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is integrating the work of the ambulance service, NHS 111, out-of-hours GPs including a ‘same-day response team’ including GPs, acute home-visiting and crisis response services, community nursing, older peoples’ assessment unit and urgent care centres.
  • The Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge in east London is planning on ‘streamlining’ the A&E, walk-in centre, urgent care centre, GPs, pharmacists and out-of-hours services into three points of access, including a digital platform where people can book urgent appointments online; a phone service for advice and appointment booking; and new ambulatory care centres.
  • South Devon and Torbay will open at least two new urgent care centres, prioritising areas of high deprivation. It will also co-locate primary care with A&E and urgent care centres in at least two locations and GP records will be shared with the out-of-hours service.
  • South Nottingham is placing GPs in A&E.
  • The West Yorkshire Urgent and Emergency Care Network will become a mobile treatment service delivering care at people’s homes, with only those needing to go to hospital taken there.
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is planning on hiring ‘GP Fellows’ for its project, a role typically focused on identifying and supporting frail older people.
  • Solihull is launching an urgent care centre at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, including GP out-of-hours and minor injury services.
  • The North East urgent care network is working to integrate services but did not specify any examples.