DoH consults on patients' access to urgent care

Patients needing urgent care should be able to phone one familiar number and have a rigorous assessment then and there as to the urgency of their request.

This assessment should result in either immediate treatment, advice on self-care, a booked appointment for further treatment or an emergency response from either health or social care. 

These are the proposals the DoH is putting forward in its document ‘Direction of Travel for Urgent Care’, which is out for consultation until January 2007.  

It says there has been confusion about the definition of urgent care.  

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