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Immediate Care

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the letter of 14 May 2009 from his Department’s Director, Workforce Capacity, Analysis and HR, which hospital services provide 24-hour immediate care; and what definition of immediate care his Department uses. (277045)

The terminology referred to means all hospital emergency and acute services operating a 24-hour service. It could also refer to urgent non-elective surgery specialty work, for example, a heart transplant. Services vary from region to region and trust to trust.

The definition of ‘24-hour immediate care’ was agreed and was the decision of the National European Working Time Directive Reference Group as being the most appropriate term to encapsulate the services above. Membership of the group includes the Royal Colleges, strategic health authorities, deaneries, British Medical Association, NHS employers. This definition was used within the notification of derogation to the European Commission submitted in January.