Following a rigorous round of written submissions and presentations to the Health Service Journal (HSJ) judges earlier in the year, we are excited to announce that the north and mid Hampshire ‘Call before Convey’ initiative was awarded a High Commendation in the Urgent and Emergency Care Safety Initiative category at the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2023 ceremony held on 18 September.
This system-wide collaboration between SCAS, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and supported by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, facilitates patients being referred to hospital and community specialties via a single point of access (SPoA).
This ensures that they are seen by the right clinician, in the right place, at the right time – enabling shared clinical decision making and minimising avoidable conveyance to an emergency department (ED). Crew calls to the dedicated ‘Call before Convey’ SPoA line are triaged by senior HHFT clinicians and when necessary, a specialty consultant can be patched into the call for further guidance.
A broad range of specialty teams are engaged with ‘Call before Convey’, including medical, surgical, frailty, virtual wards, urgent community response, respiratory, cardiology, palliative & end of life care, early pregnancy & gynaecology, oncology and urology – all of which can be available to discuss potential referrals or offer clinical advice.
To date, this initiative has meant that 53% of patients who previously might have been taken into A&E found more appropriate alternatives (e.g. conveyed directly to a specialty ward, added to the ‘Take List’ or booked into clinic appointments) and a further 15% found alternatives to conveyance to hospital at all (e.g. referral to community service providers for follow up at home).
‘Call before Convey’ is now business-as-usual and is used for all patients considered for conveyance to Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, unless they involve time-critical, trauma or paediatric cases.