Table 1

UK urgent and emergency healthcare services10–12

Emergency departmentHospital-based ‘front door’ departments for patients with accidents or emergencies.
Minor injuries unitCare for minor injuries only; may be nurse led.
Walk-in centreWalk-in access for unscheduled urgent care. May include minor injuries and minor illness; may be nurse led.
Urgent care centreUnscheduled care for minor injuries and minor illness. Includes minor injury units and walk-in centres; may be nurse led.
Urgent treatment centreGP-led urgent care centres.
GP in-hoursGP-led primary care services between 8:00 and 18:30 hours.
GP out-of-hoursGP-led services available out-of-hours (18:30-8:00 hours) and weekends, not usually receiving referrals directly from the emergency department.
Alongside the emergency departmentGP services located alongside or next to the emergency department.
Screening at the emergency department front doorGPs working at the front of the department screening attendees and either treating or diverting to other places - effectively acting as a filter.
Fully integrated with the emergency departmentGP services fully integrated into a joint operation covering the whole range of unscheduled primary care and emergency services.
Embedded into the emergency departmentGPs working within the emergency department alongside emergency clinicians, receiving patients streamed as appropriate for primary care.
Co-located urgent care centreGPs working in a separate area next to the emergency department, receiving patients who have been advised to attend through telephone assessment service (eg, ‘National Health Service 111’) or streamed via the emergency department nurse.
  • GP, General Practitioner.