Urgent Health UK, the body representing nearly half of all NHS 111 and Out of Hours GP providers in the country, has today released new analysis of outcomes and referrals data from their services. Out of Hours services are one of the only service areas omitted from NHS England’s data collection processes.
In November 2016, NHS England released guidance on Integrated Urgent Care Key Performance Indicators, which stressed that to measure the success of Integrated Urgent Care services, new data will be required.
The body has collated the data to demonstrate the significant role Out of Hours providers play in reducing pressure on emergency services. Eight anonymised member organisations, who are collectively responsible for providing NHS 111 and Out of Hours services to over 8 million people, submitted data covering a 12 month period from June to December 2016.
The findings include:
- Out of Hours services received 118 calls per 1,000 people served – of those calls, 29 were direct from patients and over 80 were received from NHS 111
- Of those that called or were transferred to Out of Hours services, 68% were dealt with by primary care or community services.
- 45% of patients were dealt with over the phone, 42% of patients were seen in a treatment centre and 12% received a home visit
- Out of Hours services referred only 5.6% of the patients they dealt with to A&E/ambulance services
- If this data is scaled up for England (c. 53 million people) – medical Out of Hours services receive around 6.3 million calls a year, with 4.3 million patients being seen in the community and just 350,000 patients being referred to A&E/ambulance services
Chair of Urgent Health UK, Simon Abrams, commenting saying:
“The pressure felt on emergency services over the winter period has been well documented, but it is important attention is also focused on services such as Out of Hours, and that they are given recognition for their track record at reducing pressure on the acute system.
“New commissioning standards must take full account of the different services that contribute towards urgent and emergency care – only in doing this will patients be offered a service that treats them in the right place and at the right time.”