Black Pear assists in reducing A&E attendance

Black Pear is significantly helping to reduce A&E attendance and cut emergency waiting times by reducing the number of people wrongly referred into an already stretched service. Instead of calling an ambulance or advising patients to attend A&E directly, emergency 111 call handlers can now use integrated software to refer patients to Out of Hours, Extended Hours doctors and GP practices using EMIS Web.

This capability, unique to Black Pear means GP practices and other NHS services can now instantly book patients into alternative services outside of normal opening hours or on busy days when all available appointments have been taken.

NHS provider, CBC Health Limited and North East Ambulance Service dropped A&E attendances by 23% in their pilot phase, drastically reducing the burden on emergency services across Gateshead, home to 206,404 patients. The ability to book appointments into primary care services was also well received by patients, with an 87% uptake of appointments where this alternative was offered.

CBC Chief Executive Jill Mitchell said:

“Pilot phase evaluation has shown a statistically significant reduction in A&E attendances, 23.11%. As part of the scheme, the functionality to allow 111 to directly book appointments was developed. This enables patients to be streamed to see the most appropriate clinician at the most appropriate location at a time convenient to them though 111. Black Pear, as partner of choice, provided the technology solution needed to achieve this integration, working in collaboration with EMIS Health and the North-East Ambulance Service. The functionality of the service was tested during Winter 2016 and made a significant contribution to the resilience plans within the Gateshead urgent care system.”

The software is now also integrated with Adastra used by 85% of NHS 111 telephone advice and triage service and GP Out of Hours service providers in the UK and is in the early phases of being rolled out to over 8 million patients in the West Midlands, London and the South West.

The North East Ambulance Service submitted the solution and picked up an award from the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2017 winning the Primary and Community Care category: http://www.brightideasinhealth.org.uk/2017-finalists/