Skill mix changes and new roles in emergency and urgent care

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Abstract

NHS

National Institute for Health Research

In this article…

• Evidence on the introduction of new roles in emergency and urgent care

In this article…

• Evidence on skill mix changes in emergency and urgent care

In this article…

• Need for further research into the right skill mix in emergency and urgent care

Author Chiara Dall'Ora is research fellow in nursing workforce; Catherine Pope is professor of medical sociology; Robert Crouch is consultant nurse and honorary professor, emergency care; Peter Griffiths is chair of health services research; all at NIHR CLAHRC Wessex, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton; Mark-Alexander Sujan is associate professor of patient safety at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.

Abstract Economic constraints and increasing demand for healthcare have led to the development of new roles in both emergency and urgent care settings. A core aim of many of these new roles is cost reduction by labour substitution, but they are also introduced to improve care quality. This article summarises the evidence of the impact of introducing new roles and changing the skill mix on patient, staff and cost outcomes.

Citation Dall'Ora C et al (2018) Skill mix changes and new roles in emergency and urgent care. Nursing Times [online]; 114: 1, 26-27.

Key points

New roles have been introduced in emergency and urgent care to face increasing demand

Key points

They often involve nurses taking on responsibilities of doctors or support staff being added to nursing teams

Key points

These new roles are often poorly defined and lack standardisation

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The wider effects of these new roles and changes in skill mix are poorly researched

Key points

More research is needed to establish the best approach to matching limited resources to rising demand for emergency services

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