Joe Matthews, Senior Urgent and Emergency Care Lead at NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) ICB, spoke at our recent webinar to discuss how the ICB has been increasing their urgent care capacity.
Early on, Buckinghamshire recognised the need to redirect and better manage frailty patients who were coming to Stoke Mandeville Hospital via the Emergency Department (ED). Consequently in August 2021, the frailty line, which was previously known as the ‘Silver Phone’, was re-launched with Consultant Connect. It was initially set up as a telephone line that quickly connected the caller to a rota of frailty consultants who are based out of the multi-disciplinary assessment unit. This enables Primary Care clinicians and ambulance teams to have a conversation and practice the ‘call before convey’ method before unnecessarily bringing a frailty patient into a busy ED.
As a result of the success of the frailty line, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) now has an incredibly successful Frailty Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit within Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
In the past 12 months, the frailty line has received approximately 1,500 calls, each lasting four minutes on average. The rapid and concise nature of the calls means patients don’t need to wait for extended periods of time to be triaged or signposted to the correct care:
- 36% of calls allowed the patient to be treated outside of the hospital setting
- 57% of calls resulted in the patient being directed to clinics or outpatient departments
- 6% of calls resulted in the patient requiring in a hospital admission
South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) staff or Primary Care clinicians consult with a senior decision maker to discuss any patients they want to refer, and the cases are approved by them prior to arriving at hospital. Because the hospitals teams know the patient’s medical presentation before they attend, it often allows them to prepare a treatment plan in advance, giving them the best possibility of concluding an episode of care, putting any additional services needed in place and preventing a lengthy hospital stay for the patient.
The success of the project has been so apparent that the acute trust at BHT is now looking to implement Consultant Connect services to support and develop a single point of access that would operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week. This line would be available for referral advice and central triaging for any NHS healthcare professionals within Primary Care, SCAS, and other community teams.
Hear from Joe Matthews, Senior Urgent and Emergency Care Lead, NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB (BOB ICB) below:
How to make it work
‘Some people may be resistant to change and technology as they worry about how difficult it will be to use and put in practice. It is important to clearly communicate the benefits of the tech, the ease of use and advantages of getting buy-in and then the others will follow. The data we receive from Consultant Connect also supports in showing the positive impact of the service.’
– Joe Matthews Senior Urgent and Emergency Care Lead, BOB ICB.
If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about how our services could support your NHS area, email email@example.com or call us on 01865 261 467.
- Webinar Recording: Increasing Urgent Care Capacity | Learnings from NHS leaders across England, Scotland and, Wales
- Reducing unnecessary conveyances for Frailty patients
- In the press: A&E capacity unlocked by Consultant Connect’s pioneering “talk before you walk” tech
- Formalising an existing line for better visibility and improved processes