A large piece of work reviewing a multi-million-pound urgent care service contract has been given the go ahead. This will be the first high profile service review since the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) became a statutory organisation in July 2022 and is worth over £20 million.

The review spans the geography of West Yorkshire and encompasses GP out of hours, clinical advice services and several place-based arrangements including urgent treatment centres, Safe Haven and GP practice learning time. 

The West Yorkshire Urgent and Emergency Care Programme has included the West Yorkshire Urgent Care Service Review as one of its key priorities which was recently refreshed to align with the Delivery plan for the recovery of urgent and emergency services (January 2023). Despite not being mentioned explicitly within the recovery plan, the review was identified as an area which directly contributes to achieving the desired ambitions of our Partnership.

The service review includes existing working arrangements with one service provider, Local Care Direct (LCD) .LCD are a Social Enterprise established in 2004 by local GPs in West Yorkshire. They deliver Healthcare services across Yorkshire and the Humber. LCD have received briefings regarding the review.

It is intended that the outcomes of the review will help to ensure services are fit for the future and are integrated with both West Yorkshire and local health systems. It is vital that these services are in line with local strategic intension, and compliant with national specification on integrated urgent care. The service review will explore potential opportunities and aims to improve efficiencies and further benefit local people. 

Ultimately the result must benefit people’s experience in terms of how they access and navigate the urgent care system. Good engagement will be integral to this process. We will review all existing local insights available in the initial stages to inform our next steps and what gaps need to be addressed. A thorough stakeholder analysis to identify those that might be impacted by any service change will take place.

In West Yorkshire we promote an urgent care system that is integrated and provides a seamless care service, with straight-forward referrals to increase ease of access to people accessing care and healthcare professionals, ensuring care is given in the right place, at the right time.  

This will include a focus on addressing health inequalities and ensuring equity of access across West Yorkshire for all. Positive patient outcomes are at the heart of our work and to do this we must understand our populations and their barriers, to be able to address and meet their differing needs.

A task and finish group will support the review. It will report into the bi-monthly Urgent and Emergency Care Programme Board meeting and provide highlight reports to track and monitor progress.

This is an ambitious piece of work with recommendations expected before end of March 2024. We will continue to update on timescales as the work progresses to ensure processes are followed.

As ever the Partnership will be transparent and share regular internal and external updates to keep staff, colleagues, and local people up to date throughout all the stages of this work.