Fylde Coast Medical Service is one of the first out-of-hours care providers in England to go live with NHS 111 using Adastra
Fylde Coast Medical Service (FCMS) is one of the first out-of-hours primary care providers in England to pilot the Department of Health’s new initiative, NHS 111, using Advanced Health & Care’s (Advanced’s) Adastra system.
FCMS serves 450,000 people across Lancashire and is one of the first out-of-hours providers in England to pilot NHS 111, which will become the route to accessing urgent care across all of England by April 2013.
NHS 111 is a free service available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, which can be accessed by calling the easy to remember, three-digit number, 111. This service offers help and advice for minor injuries and illness when it’s not an emergency. For emergencies, 999 continues to be the number to call.
In Nov 2011, NHS 111 went live across Lancashire (except West Lancashire) as part of the first phase of a four phase pilot. Cumbria will receive the service in early 2012.
FCMS has teamed up with NHS Direct and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) to launch the NHS 111 pilot. Adastra, a market-leading IT patient management system, has been selected by both FCMS and NWAS to deploy NHS Pathways, a clinical assessment tool that enables prioritisation and triage over the telephone. As part of the project, Adastra will be linked into the North West Ambulance Service’s (NWAS) 999 call management system.
With NHS 111, people with an urgent health issue that is not an emergency can call 111, where they are assessed, prioritised and routed to the most appropriate care based upon the symptoms they report. The call-handler steers patients towards a range of care options from self-care through to nurse clinicians, GPs, urgent care centres and accident and emergency departments whilst also having the capability to pass calls directly to the ambulance service in the event of an emergency.
Patient calls are processed by FCMS using NHS Pathways, a clinical assessment tool that helps to determine care needs and which is embedded into the Adastra patient management system. If the call needs to be referred, the operator launches the directory of services and directs the patients to the most appropriate care.
Using Adastra linked with NHS Pathways, 111 callers are provided with a seamless experience and the need to repeat information to different care providers is eliminated.
Suzy Layton CEO of Fylde Coast Medical Services says: “We are proud to be one of the first out-of-hours organisations to deliver NHS 111. Adastra is easy to use, effective and integrates well with NHS Pathways. We have also found Advanced’s consultants to be very knowledgeable and responsive to our needs, helping us to integrate the IT systems at each step along the way.”
Jim Chase, Managing Director of Advanced Health & Care, says, “The roll-out of NHS 111 is a significant development which requires robust and scalable IT systems. Adastra is the ideal patient management system for delivering NHS 111 as it is already proven in the NHS 111 setting as well as in out-of-hours, urgent and unscheduled care settings. Working in close partnership with Fylde Coast Medical Service, we are ensuring that Adastra supports urgent care needs across the North West both now and into the future.”
In addition, Advanced is one of four training providers licensed to deliver NHS Pathways training to urgent and emergency care service providers.
Adastra, which is the only fully compliant NHS 111 system in England that is also approved to access NHS CFH’s Personal Demographics Service and the Summary Care Record, is currently used by the majority of out-of-hours services across the UK and Ireland. For more information about the Adastra product or to arrange an appointment please contact Advanced Health & Care on 01233 722670.
Notes to Editor
About NHS 111 in the North West
The Department of Health set a target for NHS 111 to be available throughout the country by April 2013. The aim is to provide a single telephone number for the public, to provide advice on appropriate NHS services to use, for minor injuries and illness that require urgent care.
NHS 111 was launched in August 2010 in the North East. In November 2010, further pilots were launched in the East Midlands and Luton. During these pilots the NHS 111 service ran in parallel with NHS Direct. This resulted in a migration from an 0845 number to the free-to-caller 111 number. All local calls to the NHS Direct 0845 number are now rerouted to the NHS 111 service.
Following an invitation from the Department of Health, NHS North West put forward an expression of interest proposing a pilot across Cumbria and Lancashire. Following the launch of a pilot for Lancashire in November 2011, a full roll-out of the service will roll-out across the region by April 2013.
The North West pilot sites are testing a consortia approach to delivering NHS 111. This consortium includes Fylde Coast Medical Services, NW Ltd (FCMS), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and NHS Direct.
Earlier this month, out-of-hours calls in Blackpool, North Lancashire, East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen were switched through to the NHS 111 service (to FCMS and NHS Direct - North West Ambulance Service will begin taking 111 calls early in 2012).
About Fylde Coast Medical Service
FCMS was founded 18 years ago. It was originally established by a group of local GPs to provide out-of-hours cover to the local community across the Fylde Coast.
As a not for profit organisation the company has, not only sought to reinvest in Primary Care services, but also to be innovative in respect of service delivery and development. The company has been recognised nationally for its integration of out-of-hours health and social care.
Apart from working with Primary Care Trusts to provide Medical and Dental services the company also providers administrative and support services to other health organisations within the North Lancashire and Blackpool areas.
Since 2009 FCMS has been an early adopter of NHS Pathways, with this, its dynamic reputation and its many years of experience in delivering out-of-hours services, FCMS has been seen as an ideal partner to join NHS Direct and NWAS in a consortium to act as providers of the NHS 111 pilot project in the North West.
Adastra from Advanced Health & Care (Advanced) is the leading patient management system for out-of-hours, urgent and unscheduled care across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Over 1000 care provider organisations use IT solutions from Advanced Health & Care. Additionally, across the Advanced Computer Software Group, over 1,000 customers use Advanced’s software applications in cloud environments meaning that Advanced Health & Care is ideally placed to deliver cloud-based Adastra.
The use of Adastra (with embedded NHS Pathways) supports the five core principles of NHS 111 standards, including:
- Ability to dispatch and ambulance without delay
- Completion of clinical assessment on the first call without need for a call back
- Ability to refer calls to other providers without being re-triaged
- Ability to transfer clinical assessment data to other providers
- Ability to book GP appointments where appropriate
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Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock, Advanced Computer Software Group
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