Estimates suggest that between 1.5 and 3 million people who come to A&E each year could have their needs addressed in other parts of the care system. They turn to A&E because it seems like the best or only option. The rising pressures on A&E services also come from increased emergency admissions and from people being discharged from hospital later than when they should be.

West Yorkshire received £5.4million revenue funding and £3.2million capital funding from NHS England to lead innovation in urgent and emergency care until the end of June 2018. The area was chosen to become the West Yorkshire Acceleration Zone (WYAZ) as a pilot site because NHS urgent and emergency care services already have a history of partnership working.

The funding that the WYAZ received was designed to assist and boost rapid innovation in urgent and emergency care. For example:

  • When a person needs to attend A&E, they may see a local GP or practice nurse in the department rather than an A&E doctor, where it’s more appropriate
  • We are also looking to boost the support available from NHS 111 by offering advice from pharmacists, dental nurses and mental health nurses.

The system acknowledges that this is a challenging area of work and it can often be hard to get the balance right in terms of those who attend A&E and the reasons why. However by putting in place other safe options this will mean that fewer people need to be referred to accident and emergency services. This in turn reduces waiting times. Following the ending of the Vanguard the intention was to share learning across England and highlight the benefits to people and our staff who are under increasing pressure.

The work undertaken within West Yorkshire has now undergone a review and an evaluation document was completed in November 2017.


To ensure the funding was maximised across the West Yorkshire footprint the Vanguard was split into four distinct workstreams with numerous projects falling out of these;

  • Hear, See and Treat which looked at the development of a clinical advice service.
  • Primary Care transformation which looked at developing a solution for patients requesting repeat medications in particularly out of hours and direct booking directly from 111.
  • Acute Care and the development of imaging solutions which would support one common imaging system across multiple providers.
  • Technology and the viability of testing out new solutions that would support direct booking (between your GP and 111) and having a shared care record.

To find out any further information or to request copies of the reports regarding the above please send us a message with your request (below)