People needing urgent and unplanned hospital care - classed as any unplanned health care for patients seeking emergency or critical care presenting at hospital - will benefit from a new national improvement programme aimed at reducing waiting times.
The Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative will see health boards adopt a number of measures to reduce Accident and Emergency (A & E) waiting times and improve the patient experience, including offering alternatives to hospital–based treatment.
People will also be offered scheduled urgent appointments to avoid long waits in A & E. The programme will also simplify the discharge process to ensure patients don't face unnecessary delays in leaving hospital. Health boards will share more than £50 million of funding this year to support this national integrated approach with work already underway.
The SNP Government’s Resource Spending Review was published last week, setting out priorities for the next five years, including investment and reform of health and social care services.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP said:
“It is absolutely crucial we ensure people receive the right care at the right time and in the right place. That’s why I’m pleased to confirm our £50 million investment to help achieve our national urgent and unscheduled care priorities.
“Our twin approach of investment and reform in urgent and unscheduled care will help boards see people who need urgent attention more quickly.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“For many, A & E may not be the best place for their healthcare needs and our £50 million improvement programme will offer patients alternative routes to urgent care.
“Last year 4,500 patients received care from a Hospital at Home service – without this, these patients would have experienced an acute hospital stay, we are determined to build on this success.”