Article provided for WhereIsTheCare by Mid Essex CCG



Ideas for the urgent care centre and how to have a say/get involved in the consultation

Immediate care means any service that is needed unexpectedly or urgently – treating anything from a minor cut to a life-threatening emergency.

Currently in Mid Essex, people access a number of different services when this need arises, this is both confusing for the patients, but also some of the services are expensive; replicate each other and sometimes mean that accident and emergency services are stretched to their limits

The CCG is in the early stages of a five-year transformation for immediate care services.

The transformation is on a large scale and would happen in phases. It involves you, Broomfield Hospital, local GP surgeries, pharmacies, ambulance services, community healthcare and social care services.

So we want to listen to views to help us shape these changes. At the moment, we are consulting on three ideas:

  • The closure of the walk-in service at North Chelmsford Healthcare Centre in March 2015. This does NOT include the GP Practice at the site
  • The development of an urgent care centre at Broomfield Hospital with a pilot service starting in 2015
  • The overall vision of a clearer and effective immediate care service for mid Essex over the next 2-5 years, developing the potential of NHS 111 and improving the understanding of the options of care available to the public.

The urgent care centre would be run by GP and community services in partnership with hospital services and the A&E clinical team.

It is early days in designing an urgent care centre, but potentially, the current GP out of hours service for mid Essex and the rapid assessment unit for frail and older people could also be located within the centre.

In time, the range of services available at the centre could expand to include links to housing and voluntary sector services.

You can have a say on the proposals by taking part in online surveys, joining workshop events, requesting separate meetings or writing to the CCG. Click here for more information http://www.midessexccg.nhs.uk/public-consultations/immediate-care

All feedback from the consultation will be captured and summarised into a report for the next CCG Board meeting on 27 November.


NHS 111

NHS 111 is a fast, free and easy way to get the right medical help for you – wherever you are and whatever the time.

By dialling 111, you can be assessed, get advice and then directed to the local service that can help you best.

A team of highly-trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses, will ask questions to assess your symptoms and, where possible, book you an appointment with the right service or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Calls to NHS 111 are recorded and information will only be shared with others directly involved in your care.

You should use the NHS 111 service if:

  • You need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • You think you need to go to A&E or another urgent care service
  • You don’t know who to call for medical help or don’t have a GP to call
  • You need advice or help about where to go or what to do

Calls to NHS 111 are free, including mobiles, 24 hours a day. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/111


PPGs and how people can get involved

Patient Participation Groups

A number of GP practices in mid Essex have Patient Participation Groups (PPGs). These are groups of patients with an interest in healthcare issues. They work with practice staff to support local services. PPGs may also work together to influence much broader issues and to share good practice and ideas.

There is not a set way in which PPGs work – the main aims and work of each group depends entirely on local needs. They may also have the aim of ensure that their practice puts the patient, and improving health, at the heart of everything it does.


The Role of PPGs

The main aims and areas of work include:

  • Organising (running the group and activities). As much as possible the group should function without the involvement of staff; however the support of the practice is vital.
  • Helping to identify issues that practices can resolve, through engaging with a representative section of the whole practice population.
  • Acting as a critical friend to the practice.
  • Helping the practice deliver change.
  • Helping to identify potential problems, through acting as an ‘early warning’.
  • Working with the practice to help design local surveys, and promoting these.
  • Offering a way for practice staff and patients to discuss topics of mutual interest.
  • Helping patients to take responsibility for their own health; through raising awareness of conditions and help available.
  • Developing self-help activities.
  • Supporting local and national health campaigns and promoting self-help.
  • Acting as a representative group that can influence local provision, through highlighting wider issues.
  • Participating in the wider patient and public engagement structure to allow experiences, views or concerns to reach decision makers.
  • Sharing good practice and ideas.
  • Improving communication between practices, the wider patient population, the community and the commissioning process of the CCG.

For more information or for details on how you can get involved please contact:


Rachel Harkes, Head of Communications and Engagement, on 01245 459 414 or email rachelharkes@nhs.net