Delivery Plan for Recovering Urgent & Emergency Care Services
The latest delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services, co-published by NHS England and the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) and announced by the Prime Minister on 30th January, seeks to outline the potential steps necessary to improve waiting times and the patient experience for those seeking urgent, unplanned care.
The delivery plan follows the government’s Autumn Statement 2022, which had initially identified NHS England’s plans to publish a full recovery plan for urgent and emergency care, early this year. In addition, the government had already committed to additional targeted funding to support the recovery plan over the next two years, including:
- £1 billion dedicated funding for 2023/24 to support capacity in urgent and emergency services; and
- £1.6 billion of additional funding in the Adult Social Care Discharge Fund in 2023/24 and 2024/25, to be pooled into the Better Care Fund
National implementation of the plan will be led by the NHS England National Director of Urgent and Emergency Care and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Sarah-Jane Marsh, and carried out by local NHS organisation leaders, in collaboration with their partners.
Delivery Plan Targets
The plan identifies five potential areas of improvement:
- Increasing capacity of beds and ambulances;
- Growing the workforce including those working for 111;
- Speeding up hospital discharges using care transfer hubs;
- Expanding community services including frailty services and virtual wards; and
- Supporting patients to ensure the right care first time.
In publishing this delivery plan, NHS England and DHSC have attempted to address the current challenges facing urgent and emergency care, with a view to avoiding challenges in the future. Success towards this will be closely watched inside and outside government.
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