Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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The future for urgent and emergency care in England - service transformation, efficient patient care, and learning from the response to COVID-19

Morning, Tuesday, 14th September 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is focusing on the future of urgent and emergency care.

It will be an opportunity to discuss options for improving efficiency and performance, following recommendations made in the clinically-led NHS Transformation of urgent and emergency care: models of care and measurement report - which drew on the experience of the pandemic.

Overall, areas for discussion at this conference include:

  • the NHS Long Term Plan - progress in meeting ambitions for urgent and emergency care, and supporting patients to access the right care
  • the impact of the pandemic - how emergency care has responded and adapted, and what can be taken forward for future practice
  • NHS 111 - what has been learned from the pilots, and the increased role of community services and general practice in delivery
  • service transformation - including priorities for delivering effective same day emergency care
  • developing access standards - and measuring performance within A&E
  • avoidable admissions - opportunities for prevention

The discussion in detail:

The emergency care response during COVID-19 - what can be learned, and how it can be applied to future organisation and practice:

  • assessing how key challenges were met:
    • maintaining safety for patients and the workforce
    • increased pressures and their management as COVID-19 patient numbers rose and other services closed, including the need for corridor care
  • ambulance wait times - the impact on effective urgent care, workforce safety and meeting demand
  • continuing urgent care - understanding the pressures of fulfilling all urgent care, with some Trusts reportedly having to suspend some urgent operations and reduce admissions
  • collaboration - lessons for the future from:
    • joint working between regional NHS trusts and the transfer of patients between NHS hospitals
    • the role of community support in supplying emergency care
  • patient usage of A&E:
    • implications of reduced numbers presenting during the first wave of the pandemic
    • the effectiveness of public messaging on continuing to use services for urgent care needs
    • managing increasing pressures as footfall grows rapidly for emergency departments following the pandemic
    • how concerns over waiting times and overcrowding can be managed going forward
  • carrying forward service adaptations - opportunities for reducing unnecessary admissions, treating patients at the scene, and other approaches to support long-term ambitions for emergency care
  • infection control - understanding the effectiveness of measures that were employed for controlling infection, and lessons for the future
  • inequalities - assessing the increased health risks and experience of discrimination faced by ethnic minority staff working in emergency departments, and how issues can be tackled going forward
  • infrastructure - shortcomings affecting emergency care that have been highlighted by the pandemic, and how this can be addressed for the future of emergency care

Priorities for service transformation - assessing issues and priorities:

  • NHS 111 - including its role during the heightened impact of the pandemic:
    • effectiveness - the service’s impact on efficiency, waiting times, A&E admissions, and clinical outcomes, and what has been learned for streamlining and effective provision of care
    • technology - its role in ensuring the most effective use of NHS 111, including direct-access emergency department bookings, with the RCEM warn about too fast a rollout
    • raising awareness:
      • assessing the Think 111 First campaign and managing increased NHS 111 system use, phone wait times and new technology, and improving trust in the system
      • the role of regional trusts in promoting the use of NHS 111
  • the Transformation of Urgent and Emergency Care report - assessing:
    • the potential for final proposals in the report to transform patient care and experience - including scrapping the 4-hour A&E waiting times standard
    • what funding will be needed to implement those goals and the timing of the new standards
  • infrastructure - including the potential impact of enhanced primary care hubs, and of the Emergency Department Digital Integration rollout, for controlling capacity and monitoring arrivals
  • out-of-hospital urgent care - the increased role of community pharmacy and primary care, key benefits, challenges, best practice, raising awareness, and the Help Us Help You campaign
  • developing same-day emergency care - assessing progress, integration of local services, nationwide implementation, sharing best practice, reducing variation and learning from pandemic adaptation
  • the workforce - priorities for support to enable delivery of safe and efficient emergency care, integrated care team working, and professional development, and the impact of the NHS People Plan
  • innovation - evaluating the potential to use innovative technology to improve urgent care, and strategies for its introduction
  • performance measurements:
    • ability to evolve - accounting for modern care provision and changing patient needs, the development of new NHS access standards
    • for serious conditions - discussing conditions considered life-threatening, how systems can adapt, and the impact of changing standards, such as waiting times, for less urgent cases


  • predicting and identifying avoidable urgent care - utilisation of data and public awareness, and how the pandemic has changed the type of care that is needed
  • reform - assessing what needs to change, with the RCEM warning that increased usage of A&E is due to a system failure in the NHS to support patients elsewhere
  • mental health - looking at the crisis resulting from the pandemic, and what can be done to mitigate the need for emergency care services for mental health cases now and going forward
  • system capacity - understanding how to reduce the growing backlog in urgent care, as well as preventing overburdening the system in the future

A scan of relevant developments:

  • NHSEI’s Transformation of Urgent and Emergency Care: Models of Care and Measurement:
    • setting out final recommendations on urgent and emergency care standards from the Clinically-led Review of NHS Standards
    • proposing how to drive change and improvements to help transform patient care through and beyond the pandemic
  • Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all - the Government’s white paper with proposals for greater joined-up care and reduced bureaucracy, with services to be designed and delivered at a place-based level, building on the adaptations that resulted from the pandemic
  • the NHS Long Term Plan - with ambitions for emergency care on reducing hospital admissions, developing integrated care through Urgent Treatment Centres for out-of-hospital care, reducing length of stay, and putting in place same-day emergency care services
  • the Review of NHS Access Standards - on what is needed to reflect modern care, and whether performance measures in emergency care need to be improved
  • NHS 111 pilots for urgent care - aimed at helping patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs and to prevent unnecessary visits, queues and delays at A&E
  • Help Us Help You - public information campaign urging people to continue accessing urgent care through the pandemic
  • Dangerous crowding has returned to our A&Es - RCEM letter to trusts calling for better escalation plans, emergency department performance standards, and further measures to tackle corridor care
  • Guidance for Ambulance Services - PHE issues additional guidance for ambulance crews to tackle infection spread in waiting ambulances
  • Personal Protective Equipment, ethnic minorities, and occupational risk in Emergency Departments during the COVID-19 pandemic - the RCEM report with recommendations for NHS England

The agenda:

  • Improving urgent and emergency care in the context of ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan
  • Emergency care during the pandemic - assessing the clinical and organisational response, and support for the workforce during the crisis and into the future
  • Adapting service delivery in the shadow of COVID-19 - safety and upgrading facilities, introduction of Nightingale Hospitals, and the impact of changing patient usage patterns on the future of emergency care
  • The role of NHS 111 in supporting urgent care - the public response and what has been learned
  • The role of out-of-hospital services in delivering urgent care
  • Providing effective and integrated same-day emergency care across the country
  • Opportunities for service transformation and improving efficiency in emergency and urgent care
    • Developing access standards and measuring performance within A&E
    • Patient engagement in the delivery of streamlined emergency care
    • Priorities for preventing avoidable urgent care

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Care Quality Commission.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives from the NHS, executive agencies including clinical staff, emergency services, primary care, pharmacy, community services, regulators, local authorities, the independent and third sectors, patient groups, pharmaceutical companies, research and development, law firms, consultancies, and others affected by the issues discussed as well as academics and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Katherine Henderson

President, Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Keynote Speakers

Dr Katherine Henderson

President, Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Michela Littlewood

NHS 111 Head of Nursing & Quality Assurance, Integrated Urgent Care, Yorkshire Ambulance Service


Baroness Jolly

former Health Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, House of Lords


Jessica Morris

Researcher, Nuffield Trust

Dr Jo Andrews

Expert Partner, Carnall Farrar

Sandie Smith

Chief Executive, Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Dr Anwer Qureshi

Consultant Acute Care Physician, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust