Urgent and emergency care Urgent and emergency care

As part of our long-term commitment to delivering clinically safe and sustainable services from the Friarage Hospital site, we have been working with healthcare partners to redesign the hospital’s urgent and emergency care (UEC) model.
Under ‘Fit 4 the Future’, our objectives are to:
  • keep the Friarage Hospital at the centre of healthcare for the local population.
  • address the immediate issues of the urgent care pathway.
  • ensure that treating people at, or near to home, is a viable option wherever possible.
  • work together across the system to shift the focus from illness to wellness.
  • assess the future purpose of the community hospitals.
  • create a step change in the integration of health and social care.
  • radically rethink the delivery of health and care in rural areas, including the use of technology.
  • radically rethink and take opportunities to reform our workforce.

The new clinical model aims to integrate primary care, ambulance services and hospital-based services to improve the quality and resilience of urgent and emergency services.

A “proof of concept” phase to test the new model started on 20 March 2017 and is due to continue until the end of June 2017. We have agreed to extend the testing phase until further notice to allow more time for evaluation. 

Members of the public needing to attend the Friarage Hospital’s A&E for urgent or emergency services can and should continue to do so.

This programme of work is included in our 2017-2019 Operational Plan and will help inform the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield, Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby.

Although the programme informs the STP, this is not related to the Better Health Programme.
The current Friarage Hospital's A&E model of service is not sustainable in the medium or longer term due to national workforce challenges affecting recruitment at a local level – particularly A&E doctors and emergency nurse practitioners, and challenges of a rural population.
Despite considerable efforts by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to recruit, the development of a new Urgent and Emergency Care model (UEC) that includes primary care is therefore critical to maintaining 24 hour/365 days a year services based on the hospital site.
What is the proposed Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) model?
The aim of this model is to integrate primary care, ambulance service and hospital based services to improve quality, resilience and sustainability.
This is a brand new model. Northallerton is therefore a pathfinder for the delivery of Integrated Urgent and Emergency Care with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, GPs and clinicians working as a ‘hospital team’. 
We want the Friarage Hospital A&E to be an attractive place to work where patients are receiving the right care, at the right place, at the right time, so this model is designed to support this.
The Friarage UEC model must be based on the following outcomes:
  • A patient centred service: that meets the needs of the population and is simple to access.  
  • An emphasis on quality: safety, effectiveness and patient experience, so that the service is delivered in line with national standards and specific commissioner requirements.
  • Flexible and responsive: so that the service can respond flexibly to changing needs and are delivered to patients in a timely manner. This includes where national policy, local changes to strategic direction or information identifies a need to change, and the management of peaks in demand for the service.
  • Effective and proactive communication: involving South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the CCG regularly discussing service delivery and taking new and innovative approaches to service delivery.
  • Robust and timely information reporting: so that South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ensures the integrity of performance and activity information and routinely provides this for commissioning, public health and clinical governance purposes.
  • Value for money: the service must be affordable and provide value for money for all parties in a challenging economic environment. 
  • Maximise the use of developing technology: the service must work closely with other sites (e.g. James Cook University Hospital through Telemedicine) to make best use of systems and support communication between sites. 
  • Integrated: a service that is integrated from a patient’s perspective delivering seamless and effective care to patients wherever possible.
Will there be any visible changes to the Friarage Hospital building?
The GP out of hours service has already relocated from outpatients to nearer A&E which caused minor changes to the building. This was completed on 7 February 2017.
There are no planned changes to current A&E signage around the Friarage Hospital site.
What services are currently available at the Friarage Hospital?
Services at the Friarage Hospital are mainly provided by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. More information about the hospital and the current services can be found on their website: www.southtees.nhs.uk/hospitals/friarage/departments
To contact South Tees Hospitals please email public.relations@stees.nhs.uk or visit their website