Bucks patients’ healthy outlook
Strategic network to make services more efficient
A NEW strategic network which aims to make health services in Buckinghamshireclearer, more efficient and simpler for people to use has been launched.
The Thames Valley Urgent and Emergency Care Network, which had its inaugural meeting last month, is made up of members from across the health and social care sectors.
Chief clinical officer of NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group Annet Gamell has been appointed as its chairman.
The role of the network is to review services and create ‘joined up’ working models across the region – making them more fluid and straightforward for people to use or be signposted to.
This would mean better integration between A&E departments and other services that provide and support urgent treatments, and ensure people understand how to make better use of options such as pharmacists and out-ofhours GP services.
One of the long-term goals of the network is to create a clinical hub made up of a wide array of services that will have the NHS 111 number as the main point of access for members of the public.
The networks were set up following a recommendation from Sir Bruce Keogh’s review, which pushed for geographic areas to work together to link up their urgent care services.
These networks operate at a strategic level, overseeing and guiding the way services operate across their region. Each network can cover a population size ranging from one to five million.
About 80 delegates attended the launch event at Lane End Conference Centre, which preceded the inaugural meeting of the network last month.
Representatives from a range of organisations attended, including health providers, service commissioners, GPs, acute hospitals, mental health services, social care, pharmacies, medical committees and the Healthwatch group.
Dr Gamell, who has a particular interest in integrated and urgent care, said: “It’s a privilege to be chair of this new organisation and it was very exciting to see so many parties working to achieve this joined up idea of coordinated care working.
“There was lots of enthusiasm from the delegates. Our aim is, where possible, to be proactive and change cases of urgent care into planned care by ensuring the root causes of patients’ conditions are identified early and treated accordingly.
“The Thames Valley Urgent and Emergency Care Network has a huge role to play in bringing more clarity and simplification to the way our urgent care systems work.
“We also want to create some standardisation, and guidelines for terminology and broad rules for what different services can offer so the public can understand what different service options offer. The network also gives us the chance to coordinate a lot of care centrally, without different areas overlapping and doing essentially the same thing, increasing health service efficiencies.”