11. Redesign of Urgent Care – Future Steps
Phase two of the Redesign of Urgent Care Programme continues across 2021/22, building on the initial specification. In addition to the Phase 1 – public access core principles a further 6 principles of care focus on widening access to professional groups and specialty pathways of care: improved interfaces with GP in hours; mental health hubs; closer working with community pharmacists, professional referrals from and to Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and development of specific pathways such as for Musculoskeletal services. These principles will be underpinned by improving health technology opportunities (Annex H).
Public Health Scotland are currently scoping how equity of access in the context of the redesign of urgent care can be evaluated and quantified. The focus of the scoping exercise is threefold:
- Identifying those equality and vulnerable groups for whom routine urgent care data is available.
- Fine-tuning the precise evaluation question(s) that could / should be asked around equity of access.
- Assessing the availability of data with which to compare changes in access to and use of urgent care to the population's needs for urgent care, taking account of variation across equality and vulnerable groups where possible. A key anticipated challenge is the interpretation of any trends observed, and to what extent they can be (partially) attributed to RUC in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.