We recently completed a successful Integrated Urgent Care project with NHS Luton CCG and Herts Urgent Care to help improve quality of services, better patient experiences and ultimately improve outcomes for the Luton population.
The results are remarkable.
The first direct bookable GP appointment process has been implemented in England and overall, our support has significantly improved patient, carers, and families experience by ensuring patients get the right care.
We were delighted to be shortlisted in the ‘Most Innovative Use of Technology’ award for this work in this year’s CIPS Supply Management Awards. So what were the challenges and outcomes?
Challenges: Overcoming Luton’s health issues
With a diverse population of 233,000, Luton faces significant health challenges, including;
- A quarter of children in Luton live in poverty and 24% of children are classified obese
- Life expectancy is lower than the national average in England
- Chronic Heart Disease contributes to the largest proportion of inequality followed by circulatory disease
- 59% of adults are classified as obese or overweight and with high rates of alcohol related admissions
With these in mind, the opportunity to improve the patient’s experience of, and clinical outcomes from integrating urgent care within Luton was vast.
Solutions: Integrating care through technology
Our solution was to integrate 111 and OOH service provision to provide a more cohesive and seamless service for patients where organisations collaborate to deliver high quality, clinical assessment, advice & treatment whilst sharing standards and processes with clear accountability and leadership.
How was this achieved?
- Improving access: NHS 111 would incorporate a large proportion of the ‘telephone advice’ currently provided in Out of Hours. This currently accounts for approximately 25% of Out of Hours activity.
- Improving appointment booking systems: Pre-bookable direct appointments with a GP providing as a minimum “urgent contact a primary care clinician within 2 hours”. On average this equates to 15.46% across both Luton and Bedfordshire.
- Improving patient experience and service offering: Allowing Triage by a Health Advisor, offering electronic prescriptions and Self-help information delivered to patients.
Outcomes: A fully integrated urgent care service that works
Through our creative approach to procurement, engaging & stimulating the market we have delivered a fully integrated urgent care service (IUC and UTC) 24/7 that delivers:
- Greater integrated partnership – delivering seamless & joined up services. We implemented direct bookable GP appointments via IUC into local GP practices & the Luton Urgent Treatment Centre 24/7, meeting the ‘seeing a GP within 2 & 6 hour target’. This is the first direct bookable GP appointment process implemented in England, providing a seamless pathway for urgent primary care access.
Over 200 direct appointments per week are being offered and this figure continues to increase as the service develops
- Calls to 111 have increased month on month since launch of the service, with an increase of 400% over a recent winter weekend compared to the same period last year, exceeding all expectations reducing A&E admissions
- Promoting self-care initiatives. Users can now support themselves by exercising self-management, choice, and control through the use of self-care advisors within the Integrated Urgent Care Service
The service now enables immediate conversation with a primary care clinician when the healthcare advisor or the NHS Pathway requires further advice. Allowing patients to ‘speak’ to a clinician directly has reduced the need to dispatch an ambulance in Luton by 4% or refer a patient to an Emergency Department by 5%. This trend will increase as the service develops, releasing pressure across the health & social care system.
- Efficiency target achieved of 2.5% year on year, in line with NHS guidance equating to £162,500 per annum
Overall, the service has significantly improved patient, carers, & families experience by ensuring patients get the right care (at point of contact), delivering a health service responsive to patient need with feedback from patients being positive.
The process has resulted in improved patient outcomes as the new services delivers greater integration of multidisciplinary teams and outcome focussed specifications.
The approach emphasises close working with primary care and makes services more accessible utilising a market leading innovative IT solution.
To find out more about what we’ve delivered and how we might support you Contact us for more information.