Urgent Unschedule Care (UUC) / Out of Hours (OOH)

Please refer to the RCGP guidance for the most up-to-date guidance on requirements for UUC for GP trainees

Urgent Unscheduled Care (UUC) – what does that mean?

As a GP, you will need to be capable of handling urgent and emergency presentations who present in an unscheduled manner. By unscheduled, we are referring to patients who want to see a doctor acutely (i.e. they did not book into a routine scheduled appointment). There are a variety of settings in which patients present urgently in an unscheduled manner.

  • Duty Doctor for the surgery (i.e. on-call surgeries)
  • Out of Hours Emergency GP Centres
  • GP centre attached to A&E departments
  • GP extended hours work where the appointments are for acute unscheduled problems and not routine
  • Other primary care emergency/acute services delivered within a secondary care or community care provider

So, don’t just rely on one of these places for gathering evidence for your engagement in Urgent Unscheduled Care. Your experience (and evidence) should be from a mixture of working with these services.

Can I count time and experience from acute hospital posts like A&E?

You will be able to use experience from the following placements to contribute towards the evidence to showing that you are developing capabilities in Urgent Uscheduled Care work.

  • A&E
  • Paeds (esp Paediatric Emergency Assessment Units)
  • Medical Assessment Units
  • Psychiatry on-call

HOWEVER, this alone WILL NOT be enough to show that you have addressed the full range of urgent, unscheduled and out-of-hours capabilities.

What about the Working Time Directive?

We need trainees to monitor their own working hours to ensure they are not working long shifts and are getting enough rest. Not getting enough rest and working long shifts can have an adverse effect on thinking and decision-making – it is crucial to protect this, especially in the urgent care setting. Patient safety is paramount.

  • That the employed doctor (GP trainee, salaried doc etc.) works no more than an average of 40 hours each week (excluding lunch hour and time taken to travel to and from work). The average is worked out over a period of 6 months (26 weeks): i.e. divide the number of hours worked over 6 months, by 26 weeks.
  • They must get 11 hours continuous rest in a 24 hour period: for instance, if they do an evening shift on top of their day time work.
  • They must get 24 hours continuous rest in 7 days (or 48 hrs in 14 days): for instance, if they do extra work at weekends.
  • They must get a 20 minute break in work periods of over 6 hours.