Urgent care services benefit patients and the wider healthcare system

The Care Quality Commission have released a new report that says urgent care delivered in walk-in centres, NHS 111 services, and GP out-of-hours services doesn’t just benefit patients but the wider healthcare system by easing pressure on other services.  Challenges faced by the providers of urgent care include:

  • Pressures around staffing
  • Unsocial working hours
  • High reliance on self-employed clinicians
  • Difficulties in accessing people’s medical records

The majority of urgent care services are rated as good or outstanding. However voluntary groups have told CQC they are concerned there is not enough information about which services to contact and when, and that people need guidance to stop the reliance on emergency departments.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said:
“Well-resourced and integrated urgent care not only provides safe, high quality care to people, but can also ease pressure on other areas of the NHS – particularly emergency departments during the winter period and other times of peak demand. These benefits should not be overlooked.”

Read the report The state of care in urgent primary care services