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Urgent and emergency care programme

Urgent and emergency care refers to people who need help either right away or within the next eight hours.

Managing demand for urgent and emergency care continues to be a challenge, with increasing pressure on staff in primary and community care services, the ambulance service, emergency departments, hospitals and other essential health and social care services, this has, at times, resulted in delays for individuals’ access to essential services.

We’re looking to improve this service, so people get the right care, in the right place, first time.


To do this we’re leading a workforce enabling group to support the national six goals programme developed by Welsh Government. The six goals cover the following topics:

  • supporting people at more risk of needing urgent or emergency care
  • signposting people to where they can get the help they need
  • providing alternative care facilities than hospital
  • reacting quickly in a health emergency
  • providing people with high standards of care in hospital
  • providing care and supporting people to receive care at home.

The workforce enabling group will support programmes to deliver these six goals, and work with health boards and others to educate and train healthcare staff.


Urgent primary care practitioner framework

The all-Wales urgent care practitioner competency framework has been developed with an emphasis towards multi-disciplinary working. It will support learning, supplement clinical skills and enable consistency of competencies across multi-disciplinary teams, specifically within urgent primary care and out of hours settings.

The framework aims to strengthen Urgent Primary Care (UPC) services by supporting the learning and development of the UPC workforce. It will enable individuals to collate work-based evidence that supports their level of practice and progression through the career pathways.

A range of education and training resources are currently in development to complement the framework.


Call handling guidance for vulnerable groups

Guidance has been developed to support call handlers to communicate effectively with potentially vulnerable groups to enable equitable access to urgent care services.

The interactive resource promotes understanding of the needs of the following potentially vulnerable groups when calling 111 and other services:

  • children and young people
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with cancer
  • people who are sight-impaired
  • people who are hearing-impaired
  • autistic people
  • people whose first language is not English.


For further information about our urgent and emergency care work, please contact