Case Study

Urgent & Emergency Care Operations Support

Service Area
Quality & Performance Improvement
We worked with the NHSE SW regional team to design and deliver an operations function which could flex and respond to fluctuating winter pressures. Partway through the project, we shifted focus to the Covid-19 pandemic, rapidly mobilising a UEC Cell with all the functionality of a Regional Incident Coordination Centre (ICC).


In 2019, Clarity were commissioned to support the South West Regional Urgent and Emergency Care(UEC)team to design, set up and embed a UEC Winter Operations Room, that was fully functional seven days per week and able to flex dependent on operational pressures. Six months into project delivery, the global outbreak of Covid-19 put the new working model to the test as our joint team had to rapidly respond to support local systems in recovery planning and escalation of incidents.


Initially Clarity undertook an organisational review to understand the current model, provision in place and intra and inter organisational information flows. A key element to this was reviewing and enabling better use of digital and technology solutions available to the region, in particular setting up and gaining access to live data streams, allowing better real-time decisions and support offers to be made across all heath and care services within the geography.   


The team worked closely with Regional and National UEC teams and System leads, to rapidly undertake National Winter Operations Policy appraisal to build understanding, develop local policy and co-design a delivery model and fit for purpose business processes, adapted to local requirements and context, and met policy guidance.


Following agreement of the chosen model, a change management process was designed and administered. Through this new business processes were implemented, Clarity supported and upskilled the workforce to interpret and act upon time-sensitive information across all health and care services to enable and empower both immediate actions to be taken, to support patient safety, but also longer term, to implement solutions delivering operational improvement in healthcare provision.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarity rapidly adapted from undertaking Winter Operations to supporting the UEC regional team with business continuity and disaster recovery planning. Clarity supported the rapid design and set up of a UEC Cell that complied with national operating and reporting requirements for Regional Incident Coordination Centres. Significant operational planning was undertaken, including setting up new risk management processes, reviewing core functions focussing on what workstreams needed to continue and where resources could be manoeuvred to support with the pandemic response. In addition, as part of operational planning, Clarity supported the regional Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response team to develop a key set of indicators for disaster recovery planning. Alongside determining the indicators, trigger points were established alongside what regional support, including Nightingale capacity, would be brought online to support with recovery efforts.


  • Real-time decision making and better support offers made across all heath and care services within the geography, due to better utilisation of existing digital and technology solutions
  • Local winter operations policy, delivery model and business processes co-designed with system, regional and national partners
  • Workforce trained to act on time-sensitive information across all health and care services to enable both immediate actions to be taken on patient safety and to deliver operational improvement
  • Design and set up of a Covid-19 UEC cell (Regional Incident Coordination Centre).
  • Key set of indicators developed for disaster recovery planning



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