A special nurse-led call centre is helping ease pressure on hospital services at Northwick Park in Harrow.
Single Point of Access (SPA) is staffed by specialist nurses who take up to 70 calls a day advising GPs and hospital departments on where best to send patients for treatment and follow-up care.
The quick response service – all calls are answered within 25 rings – is heling ease pressure on A&E by redirecting up to 25 patients a day to the Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC).
SPA and SDEC work in tandem with the latter providing same day care for up to 25 medical pathways including anaemia, blood clots, Cellulitis and a variety of infections.
Patients are given an appointment, treated and allowed home the same day helping avoid admissions, reducing length of stay as well as managing patient flow through the hospital.
Jane Porter, Head of Nursing at Northwick Park, said: “The GPs like the service because they can get quickly get in touch with one of our advanced nurse practitioners who can advise on where best to send a patient.
“It’s more practical and responsive than the previous system of a single consultant answering all the calls.”
SPA also takes electronic referrals from inside the hospital getting patients home faster by providing tests and follow-up appointments as well as arranging call outs to patients who are housebound via the short-term assessment and rehabilitation service.
The call centre currently operates between 8am-10pm five days a week but is now looking to expand its hours