COLUMN: New assessment system is making a difference

Andrew Morgan

Andrew Morgan

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W e can’t help it. Accidents, injuries and illnesses happen and there are occasions when you might need to seek help quickly.

It is always reassuring to know there are services there to help us in our hour of need.

I am thrilled to say that here in Lincolnshire, one countywide service which is helping to direct patients to the right place and give timely clinical advice is being recognised nationally for its innovative approach.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) is shortlisted in the ‘Emergency, Urgent and Trauma Care’ category of the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards.

Patients are diverted to the service by 111, before being assessed on the telephone by an experienced clinician in order to receive the appropriate urgent care services and advice they need.

While the concept for clinical assessments over the telephone might not be new, what is different is how it is being run. Working in partnership with East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, CAS is the first service of its kind to work across organisational boundaries.

It has been designed to help reduce unnecessary home visits, accident and emergency department attendances, emergency hospital admissions and ambulance transportations.

The service is relatively new but it is already making a significant difference in supporting patients to access appropriate services for their needs.

It is great to see it receiving the recognition it deserves on a national platform. Fingers crossed for the awards ceremony in May.

n Andrew Morgan is the chief executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust