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Impact of Emergency Medicine Consultants and Clinical Advisors on a NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service

Lookup NU author(s): Basav Sen, Dr John Wright


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© 2019 Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Objective To compare outcome of clinical advice given by emergency physicians (EPs) versus non-physician clinical advisors (NPCAs) on a UK National Health Service 111 centre. Method This was a prospective study conducted between July 2016 and February 2017. We targeted calls in which call handlers using standard NHS 111 clinical decision support software would have advised the caller to attend a hospital ED. These calls were passed to a clinical assessment service (CAS) and reviewed by either an EP (July to November 2016) or an NPCA (December 2016 to February 2017). Results During the preintervention year, 80.2% of callers were advised to attend the ED within 1 or 4 hours, 1.2% were referred to out of hours (OOH) primary care and 0.3% to self-care. During the study, call handlers designated 2606 calls as needing to attend the ED in 1 or 4 hours and passed these on to the clinical advisors. There was a reduction of 75%-81% in cases advised to attend the ED in both intervention groups; EPs advised 396 of 1558 callers (25.4%) to attend ED; NPCAs advised 194 of 1048 callers (18.5%) to attend ED. For calls not requiring the ED, EPs recommended self/home care management in 38.1% of these calls, NPCAs recommended self-care for 15.7% (difference=22.4%; 95% CI 19.0% to 25.7%). EPs recommended 4.5% to attend OOH primary care, while NPCAs recommended OOH primary care for 42.1% (difference=37.6%, 95% CI 34.3% to 40.8%). Conclusions A CAS within NHS 111 using clinicians decreases referrals to the ED. EPs use fewer services and resources. Further work needs to be undertaken to determine the workforce skill mix for an NHS 111 CAS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sen B, Clay H, Wright J, Findlay S, Cratchley A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Emergency Medicine Journal

Year: 2019

Volume: 36

Issue: 4

Pages: 208-212

Online publication date: 02/04/2019

Acceptance date: 18/01/2019

ISSN (print): 1472-0205

ISSN (electronic): 1472-0213

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/emermed-2017-207335

PubMed id: 30940680


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