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Local NHS invests in unique urgent care scheme

Hospitals and A&E departments are experiencing an increase in admissions and in the Vale of York the pressure continues to grow.

Using an innovative way to overcome avoidable hospital admissions and attendance at A&E, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has invested in Urgent Care Practitioners (UCPs) so patients with urgent care needs can be treated in their own home when it is appropriate to do so.

Dr Andrew Phillips, Deputy Chief Clinical Officer and the CCG’s lead for Urgent Care, said: “Our Urgent Care Practitioners are Paramedics or Nurses who have had advanced training so they can treat and discharge patients with minor injuries and illnesses in their own home.

“They can undertake clinical procedures and provide a range of treatments, for example they can treat a person if they have had a fall, treat wounds and lacerations, as well care for those with long-term conditions.

“UCPs can also administer a number of medications such as antibiotics and speak with GPs and other care providers where they think a change of medication or care is required.

“Joined-up working and partnerships are important. That is why we are investing in this unique project and working very closely with Yorkshire Ambulance Service to address the challenges that impact on the flow of patients through our hospitals and Accident and Emergency services.”

Dr Julian Mark, Executive Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “This is a great example of partnership working for the benefit of patients with UCPs providing care and treatment for a range of illnesses and minor injuries in people’s homes.  The project group that worked together on this initiative will continue to meet to look at future developments in urgent care that could benefit residents in the York area.”

The UCP scheme was trialled for six months from December 2013 to April 2014. Initial results from this scheme showed that UCPs have reduced the number of attendances at A&E and admissions to hospital.

This success led to an extension in the project and since April 2014 UCPs have seen over 1,000 people with 546 being able to stay at home, helping them to avoid the anxiety of a journey to A&E and the possibility of an overnight stay.

There are guidelines in place to ensure patients are mana

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