There is clear evidence that our urgent and emergency care services have been under significant pressure for a number of years with growing numbers of people experiencing long waits to be seen in often overcrowded Emergency Departments (ED).

The impact of Covid-19, and the focus on infection prevention and social distancing, has driven home the urgent need for change.  To support patients and staff, we cannot allow our EDs or hospitals to continue to see this level of crowding in future.

In response, the Health Minister Robin Swann published an Urgent and Emergency Care Action plan – ‘No More Silos’ in October 2020 to maintain and improve urgent and emergency care services through the pandemic and beyond.

The action plan established a ‘No More Silos’ Network, bringing together service users, health care professionals from Primary and Secondary Care, commissioners and policy makers to oversee the delivery of 10 key actions outlined in the plan. These actions include:

  • Developing a ‘Phone First Service’
  • Establishing Urgent Care Centres
  • Developing a range of new rapid access and treatment services
  • Developing a range of services to better support older people and key groups.

The overall aim is to ensure that patients and clients requiring urgent or emergency care can access the right care, in the right place, and at the right time.

The Network and the Belfast Local Implementation Group will be holding an engagement event via Zoom on 12th April from 2-3.30pm to reach out publically to service users and carers. This event will give you the opportunity to learn more about ‘No More Silos’, and how it is improving services in your local area. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions, and share your views on the changes that are being made.

To find out more about this event and register please visit the Patient Client Council website