Urgent care rapid appraisal

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch York undertook research in June 2020 for the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group to understand what people already knew about urgent care in the Vale of York and when they used it. They spoke to 23 people.

The preferred choice of advice and urgent care for many people was their GP, many preferred face-to-face appointments and for some video conferencing was not an option but getting an appointment to speak to or see a GP within 3 weeks was often difficult. Some people have difficulties getting past the receptionist: Some people reported that they rarely saw the same doctor and that this can lead to problems in having to explain their condition several times and the occasional mix up with medical history and medication leading to serious consequences.

For some people travelling to a GP surgery for urgent care was difficult, especially when they are sent to a surgery outside of their local area. Travel can also be expensive, which is an important barrier to accessing urgent care for some people

There is a lack of knowledge about the options for out of hours care, especially during evening and weekends. There is also some confusion about the different options for urgent care.

For one in person with experience of mental health services there was a lack of emergency care and after care.

For some people access to the internet and technology was not difficult, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was preferred. Other people, however, have no access to the internet or the equipment to enable them to access online video. Some people also may have had access but preferred not to use online video.

There were nine recommendations to improve urgent care, including better access to GP appointments, better telephone systems and triaging, being able to speak to a healthcare professional on the same day, better information, easier parking at A&E and better help for people with a mental health emergency.

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General details

Report title 
Urgent care rapid appraisal
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch York
Date of publication 
Thursday, 17 September, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Out of hours
Urgent care services
Urgent and emergency care services 
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.