Why has ECIP been set up?

ECIP has been set up as a direct response to the pressures experienced by emergency care systems during winter 2014/15, and ongoing into 2015/16.

The programme will support improvements to NHS urgent and emergency care services so they are able to respond more effectively to the increasing demands placed upon them.

What are ECIP's principles?

The design of the programme has been led by the principles of Safer, Faster, Better: good practice in delivering urgent and emergency care, and supports the key interventions developed by the Urgent and Emergency Care Review.

ECIP is a transparent and open programme that aims to be as inclusive as possible and to share information within and across systems wherever it is appropriate to do so.

The programme is working with local health and social care systems to improve the quality of patient care and experience by working with clinical teams to redesign the flow of patients and information within the urgent and emergency care system, with identified best practice being shared openly to support the wider health and social care community in achieving the same.

The programme will also link with the new urgent and emergency care vanguard sites, utilising the opportunity to share the learning and innovation being developed in these systems with those that are currently facing challenges in delivering these services for their patients.


What activity will ECIP deliver?

ECIP has four strands of activity:

  1. Extensive support from the expanded Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST)

    The team are working closely with participants to diagnose challenges and implement meaningful improvements.

  2. Access to effective tools and resources

    From attendance at bespoke masterclasses, to use of proven delivery tools, participants are provided with a huge range of resources and benefit from the considerable experience of the wider network.

  3. Opportunity to participate in buddying arrangement 
    The programme will facilitate organised buddying arrangements to foster invaluable shared learning across the network.
  4. Access to dedicated programme management support 
    Ongoing advice and support is provided by the programme team to ensure the successful delivery of local improvement programmes.


How will collaborative learning benefit participants?

Through this website and the programme of collaborative learning events, ECIP will: 

  • Support learning and sharing to enable widespread improvement of urgent and emergency care systems across the country
  • Provide expertise, tools and techniques to aid the measurement and evaluation of improvements
  • Deliver high quality events that maximise networking opportunities, with exposure to best practice to inspire change
  • Aid systems to develop sustainable models of improvement
  • Help with the interpretation of national guidance, and provide case studies of systems that have successfully improved emergency care

How did you choose the 28 ECIP systems?

The urgent and emergency care systems selected were based on performance against the emergency care 4 hour standard in 2014/15 and quarter one of 2015/16 and have been identified by ECIP as being under the most pressure.


What happens if one of the 28 systems doesn’t want to take part in this programme?

The programme is not optional.  However ECIP will be tailoring the support to local needs, which will be established jointly with the local system.  ECIP is supportive of a lighter touch approach with systems that have a clear understanding and evidence as to what their problems are and can demonstrate they have the capability to address them.

What if the system is already undertaking a piece of improvement work in this area?

ECIP is working with systems that have ongoing projects to improve urgent and emergency care and help them in making sure they are tackling the right problems in the right way. Where there is assurance that ongoing projects will have a positive impact ECIP will be able to focus its resources elsewhere within the 28 selected systems.

What is an urgent and emergency care system, why aren’t you focusing on improving A&Es?

We understand that performance against the emergency care 4 hour standard can be driven by performance at any stage along the emergency care pathway, so for this reason all the key organisations delivering care for patients on these pathways will be involved in this programme.  ECIP is focused on helping to improve patient flow through the system, this starts with patients contacting NHS111, their GP, or the ambulance service, moving through A&E and, where appropriate, into the hospital as an in-patient or returning home quickly and safely with the support they need.


Who is leading the project?

The project team is jointly led by the national tripartite organisations (Monitor, NHS England, NHS TDA) and the Department of Health. It is specifically using an enhanced ECIST (Emergency Care Intensive Support Team) to lead the help and support offered to systems on the ground.

Dr Vincent Connolly is the Medical Director for the programme and leads a team with a strong clinical background of NHS experience.

Glen Burley, Chief Executive of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, is ECIP’s Senior Responsible Officer.

If you know what works, why aren’t these systems already doing it?

There are a number of reasons why urgent and emergency care systems don’t always implement changes, such as not knowing where the real problem lies, a lack of joined up working (sometimes fuelled by competing system incentives), and cultural working amongst clinical staff, amongst others. The ECIST team have a track record of overcoming these types of problems and delivering practical solutions.


Which systems are in each cluster?

Cluster 1: Stoke & Staffordshire, Shropshire, North Northamptonshire & Corby, Coventry & Rugby, Worcestershire, Birmingham & Solihull, Wirral.

Cluster 2: Lincolnshire, Hull & East Riding, North Cumbria, York & Scarborough, Wakefield & North Kirklees, Kernow.

Cluster 3: Kingston, Bromley Lambeth & Southwark, Wandsworth Sutton & Merton, Cambridge & Ely, Portsmouth & South East Hampshire, Western Devon, North Somerset and Medway.

Cluster 4: Tower Hamlets Waltham Forest & Newham, Brent & Harrow, Mid Essex, Herts Valley & West Herts, North East Essex, Brighton & Hove, East Kent.

Why have you asked systems for historical data?

In the diagnostic phase of the programme, we will use historical data to understand the drivers of the variation in performance. This looks at process, capacity and outcome measures thought the urgent care pathway.

What will happen if we cannot provide the data?

We are asking for data that already form part of either national submissions or elements that each system should be monitoring on a regular basis. If any element cannot be provided, we may want to understand why and, if necessary, provide support for its collection. 

Will we need to submit data throughout the programme?

There are three phases to the analytics arm of this programme; historical data analysis, programme monitoring and programme evaluation. The programme monitoring aspect requires daily (or monthly) submissions to UNIFY through a new SITREP collection designed for this programme.

How will we find out about the analysis?

Once the initial data analysis has been completed, a pack will be sent to the cluster leads and the individual SRG contact as previously identified. If additional system members would like to be sent it directly please contact your cluster lead.

How can you find out more about the programme?

If you have any questions about ECIP, or would like any further information, please contact us.