The MK vision for urgent care is a system that is as simple and straightforward as possible, with patients aware of, and able to access appropriate high-quality care and support at the right time and in the right place, such that inequalities in access to this care are eliminated.
The intention is to redesign services into a system that is as simple and straightforward as possible.
We will develop and contract a range of health, social and community care services that turn unplanned care needs into planned care, wherever possible, for the people of Milton Keynes. A more effective system could reduce expenditure while maintaining high-quality care for patients.
Milton Keynes has a number of points of access to unplanned care that patients can choose to use. These include their GP practice, the Urgent Care Centre, A&E, calling 999, pharmacies, optometrists and dentists.
Surveys of patients attending A&E departments for ‘minor’ complaints (both in Milton Keynes and elsewhere) talk of difficulties in accessing GP care as one of the commonest reasons that they attend, despite their ability to access other services.
There is also evidence of patients attending several different unplanned care providers for the same condition (either due to self presentation for second opinions or onward referrals between NHS organisations). Against this backdrop of patient confusion, difficulties with access, waiting times for assessment, onward referrals and multiple record keeping systems, there is an obvious opportunity to streamline the patient journey and increase the number of people who receive ‘the right care, in the right place, by the right practitioner, first time’.