Advanced helping self-isolating clinicians take NHS 111 calls from home


Software company Advanced has helped clinicians in self isolation to continue to take NHS 111 calls.

The company has created an overspill/queuing system for patients calling NHS 111 by extending its patient management system, Adastra. NHS 111 has seen a surge in demand, especially when a dedicated coronavirus support system was introduced.

This extension was commissioned, configured, tested and specific online training material was produced within 10 days. It can be accessed from home, which means clinicians who may be self-isolating can still take calls.

The system has been configured to cope with the tens of thousands of enquiries a day and can potentially have up to 3,000 clinicians using the system at any one time.

Advanced has been working with NHSX, NHS England and NHS Improvement to mobilise the additional clinical support needed to help patients and reduce pressure on the existing NHS 111 service.

The queuing system ensures that patients who have assessed themselves on the NHS App, NHS 111 website or by ringing NHS 111 and who are displaying coronavirus symptoms are electronically managed and directed to clinicians.

Clinicians – whether they’re working from home, from their existing workplace or a dedicated 111 call centre – can more effectively manage the needs of patients with symptoms.

Ric Thompson, managing director of health and care at Advanced, said: “The extension to our Adastra system, which already handles 80% of all NHS 111 calls in England, was in response to the huge increase in the number of calls to 111 but also the need to bring back many thousands of retired clinicians.

“We have created a sophisticated queue which can handle many tens of thousands of calls a day and up to 3,000 clinicians responding at any one time. We are proud to be supporting the NHS to win the war against Covid-19.”

Patients who are assessed as being at low risk will be asked to self-isolate at home but will be given a call-back number should their symptoms worsen.

Patients with risk factors will also be asked to self-isolate at home but will be actively monitored by clinicians – who will be equipped to work from anywhere – with regular calls. Those with severe symptoms will be directed to an appropriate health service. The service will also facilitate testing for those patients who need it.

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