Transforming urgent and emergency care in East Kent

05 January 2015

The first phase of an innovative project to transform urgent and emergency care in East Kent has been completed.

The number of patients seeking the help of urgent and emergency care has risen over recent years, with the service experiencing a greater level of demand during the winter months.

The project, conducted by the England Centre for Practice Development at Canterbury Christ Church University, in partnership with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Community Healthcare Trust, seeks to address this ever increasing pressure upon services and to ensure that the future workforce in urgent and emergency care is able to give patients consistently high quality, safe and effective care.

Phase one of the project has identified gaps and ‘pinch points’ in the urgent and emergency care services and made recommendations to develop an integrated, seamless whole systems approach to patient care. 

The project has also developed a core career competence framework which will help to identify the professional competences required by any practitioner delivering care in any primary or secondary care context, from first aid to the most complex emergency treatment. This is an important innovation as currently every professional group working in urgent and emergency care settings have a separate framework e.g. GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, paramedics, first aid workers

This phase of work concludes that there is no single workforce solution to address all the gaps and pinch points that will enable the achievement of an integrated system. Instead all the interdependent players e.g. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Further Education Colleges, Universities and Clinical Leaders need to work together to address key issues and recommends:

  • The creation of new types of advanced and emergency level practitioners across all key professions to support 24/7 care delivery in all contexts
  • Developing the role of Physicians Associates to include the recruitment of graduate scientists to address shortage of Drs, nurses and paramedics and provide additional support to residential homes, community and ambulatory care teams
  • Developing support workers in health and social care focusing on Hospital at Home and social care in residential homes
  • Establishing joint appointments across health care disciplines to shape, implement, embed and evaluate future integrated services
  • Testing and refining the new integrated Career Competence Framework
  • Developing a consistent and streamlined approach to co-locating General Practitioners (GPs) in the proximity of Minor Injury Units (MIUs), with ambulatory care providing in-reach services, so that their impact is maximised.

Kim Manley, Chief Investigator for the project said: “This wide ranging project has really highlighted two priorities: the need for clinical systems leaders in joint appointments across primary and secondary care who can enable everyone to work to a shared purpose and break down silos; as well as the importance of a single integrated career and competence framework for all, if integrated care is to become a reality”.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Nurse and Director of Quality, Julie Pearce, commented: “By working with our partners to develop new innovative solutions, we are seeking to address the increasing pressures we are facing in our Emergency Departments.   

“By using our staff and resources of our various organisations in an integrated way, we can remove some of the barriers that stand in our way and ensure that staff feel empowered to change the way they work to meet the needs of patients at home and in their communities. As a result, patients get a better experience and our Emergency departments will be able to focus on those patients with emergency and potentially life-threatening needs”.

The project is funded by a grant of £250,000 by Health Education England Kent Surrey and Sussex.

Notes to Editor

The England Centre for Practice Development is hosted by the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Canterbury Christ Church University. It is part of an international network of practice developers who are members of the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC). It is committed to the innovation of services and practices at the point of care to ensure that they are person-centered, safer and more effective. For more information visit the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing website.

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:44:00