Healthcare professionals within the community are set to benefit from a new dedicated telephony service within North East Ambulance Service’s Clinical Assessment Service.
By dialling NHS111 and using one of three specified pins, paramedics, care home staff and pharmacists will have direct access to senior clinicians working within the CAS for support and advice.
NEAS is working on a pilot project with a number of care homes in South Tyneside and Gateshead to explore whether offering timely access to a senior clinician during the out of hours period affects the number of ambulance dispatches and emergency department admissions.
The clinician, working from 6pm-8am Monday to Friday and 24 hours at weekends and Bank Holidays, can provide care home staff with clinical advice and advice as to whether another pathway of care is clinically appropriate as well as prescribe medications.
The same pool of clinicians will also be available to pharmacists, offering advice about a patient who has been referred to them as part of the Community Pharmacy Referral Scheme.
This service will run between 6pm and midnight Monday to Friday and 8am and midnight on weekends and bank holidays.
Paramedics will also have access to a specialist pin for advice in making clinical and diagnostic decisions for the care of patients and in assessing whether another pathway of care might be clinically appropriate as an alternative to attending an Emergency Department for assessment.
All three services are expected to be up and running by the end of the year.