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Two publications in September will be of interest to readers, one an audit of urgent and emergency services in England—namely ambulance services, A&E, out-of-hours GP services, NHS Direct, urgent care provided by GPs and urgent care centres including walk-in centres and minor injuries units released by the Healthcare Commission1—and the other a Dutch study of telephone triage in out-of-hours centres.2
As primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for commissioning local NHS services, the Healthcare Commission assessed three themes in each PCT area: how services are accessed and delivered; how they work together to provide effective and efficient care to patients; and how they are managed.
Some of the numerous interesting findings are:
The majority of services are performing well, with 60% …
Competing interests: None.