Urgent Care

Urgent Care photo

If you need information or documents from these pages in another language or in a different format please email hwlhccg.enquiries@nhs.net.

Programme Aims

Local data suggests that up to a third of patients attending Emergency Departments in Sussex could more appropriately, and swiftly, be seen by a GP. This is in line with national projections. Within High Weald Lewes Havens this would account for approximately 11,602 attendances per year. Our A&E departments are under significant pressure and there is a need to free up A&E staff so they can focus on emergency care.

Our Urgent Care programme commissions innovative projects and services that provide the population of High Weald Lewes Havens with the best possible, high quality urgent and emergency care. It supports patients to use urgent and emergency services across the region, provides alternatives to hospital or A&E wherever appropriate, and helps people to leave hospital as soon as possible. We work closely with our healthcare services and other CCG’s to plan additional services over busy winter months, bank holidays, and other events. 

The Urgent Care Programme is driven by the national standards set by NHS England. The programme aims to commission projects and services in line with NHS England’s integrated urgent care model taking into account local population needs.

For more information see the NHS England Integrated Urgent Care Service Specification, the NHS Five Year Forward View document, and the Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View document.

Partner organisations

HWLH CCG works with healthcare services and neighbouring CCGs to regularly review our local urgent care plan and work together on initiatives to improve services, patient experience and outcomes.

For more information visit Surrey & Sussex Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Work undertaken in 2017 / 2018 

  • We led on the commissioning of a GP to help treat people in A&E at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Health
  • We began work to develop the NHS 111 and GP out of hours service. (For more information see 'NHS 111' section below)
  • We developed information for patients and staff on leaving hospital and patient choice. (For more information see 'Let’s get you home' section below)
  • We provided training for enhanced nurse practitioners in the Minor Injury Units in preparation for the development of this service
  • We have worked with Healthwatch to listen to patients' perspectives of using the A&E department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.  The reports from this work are available on the Healthwatch Brighton and website at:
    Royal Sussex County Hospital Adult A&E Review
    Royal Alexandra Children’s Emergency Department Report
    Young Healthwatch A&E Report

Work planned for 2018 / 2019

  • We will be developing an improved access to primary care service that supports patients at evenings and weekends
  • We will be developing our minor injury unit at Lewes
  • We are working with other Sussex CCGs to commission the new NHS 111 and GP out of hours service across Sussex
  • We are working with local hospitals, community services, social care and primary care to make plans for winter services
  • We will continue working with our neighbouring CCGs and healthcare services to offer patients an alternative to attending A&E and to help people get home from hospital
  • We will continue to help coordinate our work across Sussex through the Sussex and East Surrey Urgent and Emergency Care Network. These groups oversee urgent and emergency care on a regional footprint. The aim is to develop initiatives that cut paperwork and reduce the need for visits to A&E.


Ambulance photo

Emergency care is where immediate medical attention is required for serious illness or injury and life threatening circumstances. Urgent care is where medical attention is needed on the same day for an illness or injury but does not require a visit to A&E. Many people confuse the two and may attend A&E unnecessarily. For many A&E is not the best place for them to receive the care they need due to travel, long waiting times, and hospital infections.

Alternatives to A&E include:

  • Local Pharmacies
  • Minor Injury Units in our Community Hospitals
  • GP Practices
  • Out of Hours GP Service

For more information visit:


NHS 111 advert

What is NHS 111?

NHS 111 is the non-emergency number that people should call if they need medical help or advice but feel it’s not a life-threatening situation.

With experienced call handlers and clinicians available to assess a person’s needs and situation they can direct you to the best local services for the care you, or someone you care for, needs.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and is free from both landlines and mobile phones.

The NHS 111 service is a national service that is commissioned and managed locally by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).  

The NHS 111 service is currently provided by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), who sub-contracts some elements of the service to Care UK.  The existing contract covers Kent, Medway, Surrey and Sussex (KMSS) and is due to expire on 31 March 2019.

What is GP Out-of-Hours?

The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that is convenient for you.

GP Out-of-Hours is the service that puts people in touch with a GP when the surgeries are closed – usually from 6.30pm to 8.00am during the week and all day at the weekend and bank holidays.

At these times if you need a GP NHS 111 can put you in touch with the out-of-hours service if it’s deemed the right treatment option for you.

The GP Out-of-Hours service is provided by Integrated Care 24 (IC24) for patients across Sussex.  The GP Out-of-Hours contract is also due to expire on 31 March 2019.

What’s changing?

Across Sussex there are more than 7000 calls made to the NHS 111 service every week - clearly it is a key part of the NHS in Sussex.

The seven Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups; Coastal West Sussex (Host), Brighton and Hove, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex, High Weald Lewes Havens, Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford, and Hastings and Rother are working in collaboration to procure and award a new combined NHS 111 – Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) and GP Out-of-Hours service.

The development of the NHS 111 - Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) will be pivotal in bringing urgent care services together within an Integrated Urgent Care model (IUC). 

Get involved

Before any new contract is finalised, the CCGs want to explore with local people what their priorities are for this service. To ask questions that give them a clearer idea about what service they need to buy for our local population.

In July 2017 we ran a public survey both online and printed in the local Sussex newspapers asking people about their current experiences of the NHS service, and what they thought of our proposed ideas for a future service. 

The views and experiences that have been captured through this survey will provide useful insight and information that will be used to inform and help shape the new NHS 111/Clinical Assessment Service and the development of the Sussex integrated urgent care services for Sussex. Find out what people have said: (booklet coming soon).

We will continue to engage with our patients and local population to explore the themes and gaps that have been highlighted by this survey. 

Useful Documents and links



Let's Get You Home booklet

High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group has organised a big initiative to ensure that patients spend no longer than they need to in hospital. This means supporting them to return home safely or, if this is not possible, to move to a care home or supported housing once their treatment in hospital is complete.

Hospitals have a duty to ensure that beds are occupied only by people who need treatment there. The Let’s Get You Home initiative will help hospitals have beds available when they are most needed, especially through the winter when more people are ill or have accidents. There’s also lots of evidence to show that patients recover better outside hospital when they are well enough to leave. 

Let’s Get You Home will ensure that:

  • Staff will have earlier conversations with patients about how they will leave hospital (usually within 24 hours of being admitted) and they will be given clear information about their choices.
  • Hospital staff and local council adult services teams will work more closely with each other to ensure patients have the care and support they need to return home (or go into a care home or supported housing if they can’t go home).
  • More assessments on people’s long-term care needs will take place in their own homes, where they can be assessed more accurately, rather than in hospital

Let’s Get You Home is being implemented by the 24 NHS organisations and councils across the Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, including adult services teams at West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Surrey County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council. Healthwatch and patient groups have also been involved.



How to get involved