Page last updated: 16 May 2023


PEOPLE FIRST is a practical resource designed to help system leaders and service providers:

  • embed the principles of person-centred, urgent and emergency care within (and between) integrated care systems
  • encourage innovation and share examples of good practice.

It was developed from the outcomes of CQC's urgent and emergency care (UEC) workshop held in May 2022, by members of CQC’s National Emergency Medicine Specialist Advisor Forum. 

The forum consists of senior clinicians who provide professional and specialist advice to CQC in carrying out its work. The workshop was attended by more than 250 leaders from across health and care. They all understand and are witness to the impact of the current pressures on people and on staff every day. 


The resource is divided thematically and covers the following topics: 

  • Prevention
  • Escalation
  • Optimising Pathways
  • Leadership
  • Equality
  • Flow
  • Innovation, information and technology
  • Risk sharing
  • Staffing and training
  • Transformation

Each section shares the views of current system leaders on the pressures and challenges the sector faces. This is followed by actionable key suggestions and good practice examples. These aim to inspire other system leaders to effect positive change.


PEOPLE FIRST builds on learning from: 

About the urgent and emergency care workshop, May 2022

Following the UEC systems inspections, CQC convened an urgent and emergency care workshop. The workshop's outcomes are the building blocks of this resource. Around 250 leaders came from all sectors: adult social care, primary care, community healthcare, urgent care, acute and ambulance NHS trusts, and mental health trusts. They aimed to solve three questions:

  1. How do we support people to stay well at home, and what services do we need to do this?
  2. What services do we require to ensure a person with a new unmet care need is seen by the right team, in the right place at the right time?
  3. How can we safely discharge people from hospital as soon as they are able, with the right care and support in place?

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