New Opportunities

For Practices to audit their appointments and

For local health systems to shape their integrated urgent care system

Urgent care: a practical guide to transforming same-day care in general practice (May 2009)

You can download an electronic version of the report here: Urgent Care Report

Also link to HSJ article by Kaye McIntosh: HSJ Article

This report is supported by a broad coalition of influential bodies, including the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association’s GPs Committee (see their letter at the front of the report), the NHS Alliance and Primary Care Contracting, as well as being funded and supported by the Department of Health.

Urgent care in general practice has not had the same policy focus compared to high profile policy areas such as hospital emergency care and managing long-term conditions. Yet responding efficiently to demand for same-day care brings significant benefits for patients, practices and for the wider healthcare system.  Primary care commissioners must tackle the major issues presented by emergency admissions if commissioning strategies are to be deemed successful.

This report throws a spotlight on the differing ways urgent care is, and can be, managed in day-to-day general practice, offering key insights into how we can all improve our patients’ care and access making best use of existing resources and identifying areas and practices that require additional resources.. There are real-life examples of better management of urgent care making a difference: reducing attendance at A&E and emergency hospital admissions, offering a better service to patients and enabling GPs and primary care staff to take control of their workload.

It offers practical advice and support to practice managers and GPs across the country. Rather than setting national targets that inevitably fail to reflect the unique patient population, geography, and skill mix of individual practices, it encourages them to look at their own processes, make changes and set their own realistic and appropriate local standard, within their available resources.

If you would like to know more about this initiative, please click HERE

About Us

The Primary Care Foundation was established to support the development of best practice in primary and urgent care.  The three Directors bring different skills and perspectives to understanding primary and urgent health care - for more details click below:

David Carson

Rick Stern

Henry Clay



Latest News

Healthcare Leader Forum

Henry Clay will be speaking at the upcoming Healthcare Leader Forum: Improving urgent and emergency care conferences on 14th September at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole and also in Reading on the 21st September. This interactive conference will give its audience vital insight into the delivery of streamlined, efficient urgent care pathways emerging from regional transformation partnerships and local initiatives. Speakers will explore the necessary steps to ensure the audience know how to guarantee their organisation is fully prepared and that services are properly resourced.


Are there any simple lessons for practices looking to improve access?

A new feature article in Management in Practice by Rick Stern reviews what we have learned from working with over 1,500 practices across the UK – you can read the full article HERE  


Integrated Urgent Care – how to make NHS 111 work

A lead article for Health Care Leader by Henry Clay describes a financial and capacity model developed for NHS England, the potential benefits and pitfalls, and what we have learned from working with a dozen areas to apply the model. The article is available at HERE and a fuller version with a number of explanatory graphs can be downloaded HERE


A new audit of potentially avoidable appointments in general practice – available to all practices at no cost

This audit was developed as part of our research for NHS England with the initial results - suggesting that 27% of GP appointments are potentially avoidable - published in ‘Making Time in General Practice’. NHS England are now committed to extending this work by funding support for practices - so there is no direct cost - of an App you can download on to your computer screen, making it really easy for you to see how many of your appointments might be avoidable and helping you explore how you might be able to do something about it. If you want to know more, download Frequently Asked Questions, the Governance Statement and the Application Form and take a quick look at a virtual tour or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Integrated Urgent Care – opportunity for support to your locality

We have developed a financial model for the Integrated Urgent Care Team at NHS England that focuses on the NHS 111 and OOH ‘front end’ to an integrated urgent care system (but also looks at the cost of onward referrals to other services). This is proving to be an invaluable tool for both commissioners and providers. It is now available to use and NHS England have also agreed to support some sites to setup and work through the model with PCF’s Henry Clay who developed the model. For further information please contact Henry on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are now supporting over 1,500 practices across the UK to manage access and urgent care

Our support for general practices looking to improve access for patients and streamline the management of urgent care continues to expand. Based on a web based tool, developed out of our work commissioned by the Department of Health, we collect practice data for one week and prepare a report for each practice looking at how you compare to others and explore what this means for making practical changes in the way you work. We are regularly improving the format of our reports for practices based on constant feedback. If you would like to see an example report, CLICK HERE.  If you want to know more about how we might work with you please contact Rick Stern on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call on 07709 746771.