The HSJ Value Awards highlight the best examples of the NHS and its partners adding value – whether that is through financial savings or improved services for patients.
Last winter, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, asked Devon Doctors to help the NHS 111 provider in the county to cope with winter pressures by setting up an alternative route for patients who were over the age of 75 or under the age of one. The service was created and went live within six weeks, ready for the start of winter at the beginning of December 2018.
The step-in service means that the most vulnerable age groups are fast tracked into a new clinical assessment service, which sees them speak to a clinician much more quickly than might otherwise be the case. During the first month of the service, over 90 per cent of calls were answered within 60 seconds. In addition, over 600 ambulance trips were saved as patients were directed to the most appropriate treatment options.
Dr Ed Ford, Chair, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that the very young and the old are extremely vulnerable when they are unwell. The step in service designed by Devon Doctors helps us to make sure that we supporting our most vulnerable people to access the treatment and care they need as quickly as possible.
“The service is making a real difference to people in Somerset while also reducing the demands on other parts of the NHS system. We are very proud that the hard work of all staff involved has been recognised.”
Ryan Hewitt, Chief Operating Officer, Devon Doctors, said: “We are delighted to receive this national recognition for our work. It was quite a challenge to design and launch a service in such a tight timescale and the success we have achieved is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our staff.”