Publication - Research and analysis

NHS Scotland redesign of urgent care - first national staging review report: 1 December 2020 – 31 March 2021

Published: 15 Jul 2021
Health Performance and Delivery Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care

The redesign of urgent care (RUC) programme by definition includes the entire patient pathway from the time of patient or carer need to the conclusion of that episode of care. This evaluation has therefore attempted to explore the whole patient journey in terms of data and feedback from stakeholder groups.

NHS Scotland redesign of urgent care - first national staging review report: 1 December 2020 – 31 March 2021
5. RUC Progress - First Staging Review Approach

5. RUC Progress - First Staging Review Approach

Process and methodology

This First Staging Review covers the period from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. It includes quantitative data based on the regular weekly and monthly reports prepared by the Data and Monitoring Workstream of the RUC Strategic Advisory Group, including Public Health Scotland, Information Services Division (ISD), NHS 24, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and SAS engagement. There is presently limited qualitative information available based on NHS Board feedback (territorial and NHS 24 and SAS) including commentary regarding patient and staff satisfaction, which to date remains largely anecdotal. There are presently limited data on the establishment and response to the present limited communication strategy (public, patients and health and care staff). Implementation and data collection processes are also still in early stages of development and delivery.

Limitations of this First Staging Review

Limitations include the short time scale (a four-month evaluation period) of the nascent RUC programme. This impedes definitive interpretation. This is further complicated by the RUC initiation period overlapping with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020/21 winter and festive periods. Further limitations include: lack of a standard national format to capture patient and staff experience. A longer period of analysis is required, combined with further data collection to assess capacity within care services (physical and human resources). Together with the NHS A&A Rapid Review Report, it is intended learning and data from this First Staging Review will influence the future design of the RUC Programme and the planned independent external review to include an economic impact analysis.

Unlike all other NHS care sectors, there is presently an absence of knowledge and understanding of activity data within general practice and primary care in Scotland. This is also applicable to urgent social care provision. This is well-recognised and hampers a full assessment of care flows, future changes in activity and trends analysis.