In a bid to meet emergency care targets, NHS England has announced a myriad of schemes, including GP services in hospitals, mental health street triage services and mobile treatment centres.
The health service consistently missed its target of dealing with 95 per cent of accident and emergency (A&E) patients within four hours or less last winter and is keen to find a solution to ensure this isn't a constant issue.
Today (July 24th), NHS England unveiled eight 'vanguard' areas where they plan on transforming the current state of play.
Measures include the development of GP services in hospitals, launching mobile treatment centres that will be run by ambulance staff and same-day crisis response teams that will involve family doctors. In addition, there will be more mental health triage teams and schemes involving a broader role for community pharmacists will be rolled out.
Unveiled by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the initiatives have been created to remove current barriers between primary care facilities and hospitals, with the cost for the NHS sitting close to £200 million.
It is hoped that the schemes will be just as successful, if not more so, than the regional major trauma units set up in 2012, which the NHS claims have resulted in the odds of survival for patients rising by as much as 50 per cent, saving hundreds of lives.
The vanguards are based in several places in England, including Devon and Torbay, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Leicestershire and Rutland, Solihull, the West Midlands, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge and West Yorkshire.
Keith Willett, NHS England director of acute care, said: “This proves a modern NHS needs a very different approach and shows, even in times of austerity, we can transform patient care.
"We cannot delay in now securing that same advantage for the thousands of other patients – such as those suffering a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm, as well as helping critically-ill children."
He added that it's just as important that these new networks support and improve local and emergency care services, such as GPs, A&E departments and ambulances, so no part of the NHS is siloed away from expert advice 24 hours a day. Mr Willett believes the vanguards will spearhead news ways of working together.
"The solution does not lie in simply providing more and more money to emergency departments," the director continued.
Increase in Demand for A&E Doctors in Lancashire
Supporting NHS organisations with additional Occupational Health capacity during the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic
Why Your Business Should Consider Arranging Flu Vaccinations for Staff Now
Four Reasons That Used to Put me off the Idea of Working as a Locum Doctor