An urgent care platform has been rolled out in A&E departments across Greater Manchester in a bid to reduce waiting times and ensure patients are quickly triaged to the most appropriate and consistent care.
The Greater Manchester Urgent Primary Care Alliance (GMUPCA), the urgent care partner for the region, is leading the roll out of Odyssey, a clinical decision support service from software provider Advanced.
The system is being implemented across 10 NHS trusts to ensure patients calling 111 or visiting A&E are triaged in the same way.
It will now mean that before patients visit an A&E department in Greater Manchester, they will be triaged beforehand by telephone. Staff will be able to prioritise patients with the most urgent care needs and redirect any less urgent patients to more appropriate services such as their GP practice, out of hours centres, mental health services or self-care.
Dr David Ratcliffe, clinical lead for urgent care at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “True integration of urgent and emergency care for patients in Greater Manchester is based upon the principles of equity and shared standards.
“Operationally, the ability to organise care for patients based on a single digital system for appointments, consultation and referral is an absolutely key component.”
Dr Zahid Chauhan, chief clinical lead at GMUPCA, added: “By triaging patients before they walk into the hospital, A&E staff are less likely to be overstretched, which is critical as the country prepares for another winter crisis exacerbated by rising Covid-19 admissions.
“Through Advanced’s system, we will be able to bring patients to the right place and ensure they get the right treatment fast. It’s a much more integrated and collaborative approach so all patients across Greater Manchester will receive the same patient journey.”
The latest initiative follows the success of a 90-day pilot which saw the North West Ambulance Service’s low acuity calls to 999 passed to GMUPCA, which used Advanced’s clinical patient management software Adastra.