Designing emergency and urgent care services around users

New programme launched to understand users’ views on NHS emergency and urgent care services.

Published: 30th August 2022

Health Innovation East has partnered with NHS England and Improvement to understand citizens’ experiences of urgent and emergency care services.

Urgent and emergency care (UEC) services perform a critical role in keeping the population healthy. The NHS responds to more than 110 million urgent and emergency calls or visits every year, so it is essential that the system works effectively1.

Health Innovation East has been commissioned by NHS England to work closely with the general public to better understand their experience and uptake of services, including how digital technology and innovation can be used to improve their experiences.

The programme will include review of existing research into users experience of urgent care by our partners at The Patient Experience Library as well as a citizen survey, led by social listening innovator PEP Health which is available here and will run from 30 August to 30 September. The survey is anonymous and there is an opportunity to be included in a free prize draw to win a £50 shopping voucher.

In addition, PEP Health are also working behind the scenes to analyse feedback left on social media and other websites and we will host a series of patient engagement events and interviews with Traverse to ensure we gather feedback from a broad cross-section of the population we serve.

Why are we asking for your views?

There are continued pressures on NHS urgent and emergency care services arising from increasing calls to NHS 111, A&E attendances2, constraints on capacity due to COVID-19, ambulance handover delays and high hospital bed occupancy. These factors combined lead to crowding of emergency departments3, meaning patients spend more time in A&E before admission, transfer or discharge. With the formation of integrated care systems, local health and care services are encouraged to take a system-wide approach to tackling the problem. To do this effectively, we need to ensure that we understand patients’ experiences. That’s where you come in.

Caroline Angel, Director – Patient Safety at Health Innovation East, said:

“The total number of A&E attendances across the NHS in June alone was nearly 2.2million Whilst we may have ideas about how to deliver better services, understanding the experience of those people who have been on the receiving end of care is invaluable because some of the best ideas come directly from the people with lived experience. We want to capture that invaluable insight to identify where and how we can do things differently to provide better outcomes.”

This programme is expected to be finished by the autumn with findings fed into service planning from late 2022 onwards.

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If you want to know more about this programme or how Health Innovation East can help you engage your communities, contact



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