Patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have been benefiting from the new Clinical Navigation Hub, which has been trialled over the last few months. The service has already shown to be radically changing patients’ interactions with the NHS, making sure they get appropriate care, as soon as possible, and in the first six months of the year has saved over 1800 users a trip to A&E.
The service is accessed through NHS 111, and involves callers speaking directly with an emergency care practitioner, nurse or doctor, who then provide professional medical advice, which ranges from recommendations of self-care, to calling an ambulance on the caller’s behalf.
The hub is fully integrated into the NHS 111 service in the area providing residents and visitors with more direct access to clinical advice, whenever they need it. The service therefore acts as an easily accessible helpline for patients with an urgent care need.
By integrating this service with existing facilities, patients are able to use the avenues that are familiar to them, whilst gaining access to a much greater selection of services when they are in crisis. Once callers are transferred to the clinical navigation hub, they are then able to speak to a health professional, who in turn has access to a wide range of specialists. Callers are then advised to take an appropriate course of action, matched to their condition and circumstances. These include visiting a primary care hub, urgent care centre, social care services, ambulatory clinics, mental health service, the emergency department or simply self-care. In some cases, the hub will direct users to A&E, or, if they see fit, dispatch an ambulance.
Data collected over the last six months shows that patients who are referred to the clinical navigation hub are consistently being sent to the right place. Of the 2,600 users who would have otherwise gone to A&E, around 45% were advised to visit either an urgent care centre or primary care services, and another 20% were advised to administer self-care. This represents a huge success for the new service, which was set up to ensure that a larger proportion of patients receive care that is appropriate for their condition.
In cases where immediate transport to the emergency department is not needed but an ambulance would have normally been dispatched, there was similar success, with more than 81% treated appropriately, without the need for an ambulance.
Tamsin Hooton, Director of Urgent and Emergency Care for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “We are really pleased to see that in trials the new clinical navigation hub is having such a demonstrable impact upon the care that our patients receive.
“This service has such a positive impact, both directly and indirectly. Firstly, it means that patients that call NHS 111, when their need is urgent, receive the right care for them, after calling one easy-to-remember number. Equally, it takes a great deal of pressure off our A&E services and means that our patients in need of emergency care are seen to as soon as possible.
“We are continuing to develop our urgent and emergency care services to ensure they work in a way that is easily accessible, intuitive and best for patients.”
Urgent care in LLR will be one of the main focuses of West Leicestershire CCG’s Conference, Exhibition and AGM. If you would like to find out more, please visit: https://www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/agm2017