The ideal urgent and emergency care system

Public and healthcare staff perspectives.



Our urgent and emergency care services such as the ambulance service, minor injuries units, GP out-of-hours and emergency departments are under more pressure than ever to deliver fast, good quality care, in an environment with fewer resources (e.g. money and staff).

How we use these services has changed over time but have the services changed to keep up with how we live today?


This was a small-scale exploratory study which involved inviting members of the public and healthcare staff to attend a small-group workshop where they were asked to design their ideal UEC system.

The objectives of the overall study were to

  • identify from the public and healthcare staff perspective what their ideal UEC system(s) would look like.
  • identify the key priorities of the ideal UEC system(s) from the public and healthcare staff perspective.
  • explore how the public and healthcare staff come up with their ideal UEC system.
  • test the ideal UEC system(s) using real-life scenarios.


The study recruited members of the public who had been in contact with an Emergency Department, an ambulance, NHS 111, GP out-of-hours, walk-in centre, or a minor injuries unit within 12 months (of the recruitment date) and who fell into any of the following categories:

  • 18-45 years.
  • 75 years and older.
  • Adults with young children.
  • Adults with long term conditions.

Additionally, healthcare staff were recruited who were working in the Emergency Department, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, NHS 111, GP out-of-hours, walk-in centre, or a minor injuries unit.

Recruitment for this study is now closed (January 2019) and no further workshops will be taking place.


short report summarising the results of this study is now available.

The team have also published the results in the Emergency Medicine Journal in January 2020.

If you would like further information then please contact Maxine Kuczawski on +44 114 222 2981 or email


The study was organised by the University of Sheffield, and was funded by Connected Yorkshire (part of the Connected Health Cities Programme) and CLAHRC Yorkshire and the Humber.

Study contacts


Poster (PDF, 469KB)

Short information leaflet (PDF, 1MB)

Participant information sheet (PDF, 114KB)

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