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Improving urgent and emergency care services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Together We’re Better, the local health and care partnership, is seeking to improve access to urgent and emergency care services by offering the right care in the right place and the right time.

We know our urgent and emergency care system is confusing, and we want to simplify it for the future. We want to help people who are seriously ill, or at risk of becoming seriously ill, to access high-quality care locally, at the right time and with the right professional.

Across England, local areas need to set up a network of urgent treatment centres (UTCs) which will replace the services currently provided by walk-in centres and minor injuries units. Walk-in centres and minor injuries units will then cease to exist. These UTCs aim to reduce confusion for people who need treatment quickly, usually within 24 hours, but do not need an emergency department (ED).

We need to design our local approach to create a network of urgent treatment centres that meet the needs of local people, are consistent, easier to understand and deliver fair access across the area.

Together We’re Better started a conversation in 2019 to understand what was working well and what could be improved in our urgent and emergency care services. More than 2,000 people shared their feedback, which our clinicians and staff used to inform proposals for future services. You can read the report of findings on the Together We’re Better website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work had to pause. It is now the right time to restart this conversation. But we know there may be new information that we need to consider, because:

  • COVID-19 has had a big impact on all our services and your experiences may have changed, for example by using phone appointments
  • some communities have had temporary service changes, for example the closure of Leek and Cannock minor injuries units
  • our services have evolved, for example offering timeslots in our emergency departments through NHS 111
  • there is new national guidance available that will need to be reviewed as we develop our future services.

You can find more details about this here.

Three online events are being held this October to understand any new context and to inform future proposals. Please book your place online.

There is also an online questionnaire open from 22 September until 31 October 2021. Your feedback will help inform the development of future proposals. At this point no decisions have been made.

This is one part of a bigger piece of work to ensure health and care services meet the needs of local people now and in the future, and make the best use of the resources available. All information and documents about this work will be available on the Together We’re Better website, and you can follow TWB on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

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