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Patients needing urgent care should be able to phone one number that is familiar to them and have a rigorous assessment immediately as to the degree of urgency of their request.
This assessment should result in either immediate treatment, advice on self care, a booked appointment for further treatment or an emergency response from either health or social care.
These are the proposals the DoH is putting forward in its discussion document Direction of Travel for Urgent Care, which is out for consultation until January, 2007.
The document says in the past both patients and staff have been confused as to what the term urgent care refers to and what …