Urgent and emergency care

We are committed to ensuring that our urgent and emergency care system can respond to the current and future needs of our local populations, and ensuring right place, first time principles through more community-based services, a comprehensive 111 clinical assessment service, self-help apps and access to NHS online consultations

There are three ways to access health services and help to reduce pressure on our hospitals:

  • ‘Click’ – online information and support and to book urgent or routine appointments when needed.
  • ‘Call’ – for people who don’t have access to the internet and those who need more advice or reassurance from a healthcare professional.
  • ‘Come in’ – where patients really need to see a healthcare professional.

Around 100 people visit accident and emergency departments across east London every hour. But many of them do not need to be there.

With people unsure of where to go for treatment, there is a huge demand on busy A&E services. Some 68 per cent of patients have told us they do not know the difference between facilities such as Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injury Units. We want to change this.

An immediate priority is to have better information on how and where we can all get the right care and treatment, including advice on ways we can look after ourselves.

In a recent survey led by East London Citizens Panel we wanted to see if people were aware of existing services and whether they would use them in a different way. Almost a quarter of people attending A&E are there, because they could not get an appointment with their own GP according to the Panel. We’re working closely with services and GPs to change this situation.

  • 94% knew what NHS 111 provided
  • 18% said they had been to A&E when they knew they could have been seen elsewhere – of these almost 60% thought telling people what other services were available would prevent them from going to A&E unnecessarily.
  • 52% would use online GP consultations/appointments
  • 63% currently use an internet search to find urgent treatment advice

Our priorities from this recent survey are to:

  • to give better information on how and where we can all get the right care and treatment, including advice on ways we can look after ourselves.
  • continue to improve access via NHS
  • continue to improve online consultations at GP

Our story so far

Much of the work we’ve been doing is about bringing different systems and services closer together in hospitals, social services, GP practices and community health services. Some of the work, such as making it possible to book people directly into urgent treatment centres, is part of a national programme. Other projects are based upon the needs of local people. So far, we have:

  • successfully introduced a new east London-wide NHS 111 service with a direct booking service that includes pharmacists
  • introduced pharmacists into care homes in two boroughs
  • developed and delivered a winter plan covering east London
  • begun looking options for an east London home visiting service

UPDATED: 13/03/2019