North East one of eight areas chosen to be a 'Vanguard'.

The North East has been selected as one of eight areas to be at the forefront of transforming urgent and emergency care in the UK.

The so-called 'Vanguards' follow the success of NHS England's Regional Major Trauma Networks which, after they were set up just three years ago, have seen a remarkable 50 per cent increase in the odds of survival for trauma patients revealed in a new independent audit by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN).  

Ashley Winter OBE, Chairman of NEAS, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the success of the Vanguard award to the North East Urgent Care Network. As the only Regional member of the Group this gives us a great opportunity to influence the Urgent and Emergency Care provision in the North East for the benefit of all patients”

Building on the recent success in improving trauma survival rates, the urgent and emergency care vanguards are tasked with changing the way in which all organisations work together to provide care in a more joined up way for patients.

Urgent care will be delivered, not just in hospitals but also by GPs, pharmacists, community teams, ambulance services, NHS 111, social care and others, and through patients being given support and education to manage their own conditions. Another aim is to break down boundaries between physical and mental health to improve the quality of care and experience for all.

Participation by the North East Urgent Care Network (NEUCN) in the Vanguard Programme will benefit the whole of the North East region.

This covers areas around Northumberland, Tees, Esk and Wear Valley, Newcastle, Northumbria, Gateshead, Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham, Darlington and Hartlepool - a region with a population of 2.71 million. It is made up of three major conurbations, and spreads across both urban and rural areas.

The NEUCN - which consists of all the key physical, mental health and care stakeholders and providers - already has a strong history of working collaboratively to deliver successful innovative projects to support the recommendations made in the Urgent and Emergency Care Review as well as, importantly, improving patient outcomes and experience.

This programme will enable the Network to transform the regional UEC system and its services to further improve consistency and clinical standards, reduce fragmentation and deliver high quality and responsive health and social care to patients

Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director of Acute Care, who is leading the Urgent and Emergency Care transformation, said: “This proves a modern NHS needs a very different approach and shows, we can transform patient care.

“These networks  and new vanguards will support and improve all our local urgent and emergency care services, such as A&E departments, urgent care centres, GPs, NHS 111 and community, social care and ambulance services, so no one is working isolated from expert advice 24 hours a day.”

“All over the country there are pockets of best practice yielding enormous benefits; but to ensure our urgent care services are sustainable for the future every region must begin delivering faster, better and safer care. Now it is time for the new urgent and emergency care vanguards to design the best solutions locally.”

The launch of the vanguards comes in the face of pressure on all NHS frontline emergency services, with increased A&E attendances and emergency admissions, and both ambulance and NHS 111 services facing rising demands.

The Urgent and Emergency Care vanguards are a key element within the NHS Five Year Forward View which is a partnership between NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Monitor, the Trust Development Authority, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and represent the next step in the transformation of Urgent and Emergency Care for the NHS announced by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, in 2013. 

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