Self-service kiosks have been launched in a pilot scheme at one of the county’s acute hospitals’ Accident and Emergency departments to ensure that patients are directed to the most appropriate place for their care.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) launched the urgent care self-service tool, also known as the streaming and redirection tool at Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.
It aims to reduce long waits in A&E with patients directed to a more appropriate place for their care as those in urgent need of care are prioritised for treatment in A&E.
Patients who arrive at A&E and urgent care settings with no pre-booked arrival time will be able to use the kiosks, which provide the online self-service tool. Two kiosks will be stationed at the entrance of the A&E department, and will operate from 11am to 7pm, seven days a week. A care navigator will assist patients to use the tool at the kiosk.
The tool aims to see a change to the way patients who attend A&E are cared for, potentially enabling them to be treated faster and closer to home. The tool aims for people to be seen in the right healthcare setting at the right time.
John Jones, Executive Medical Director (Acting) at SaTH, said: “Any patient attending A&E who needs emergency treatment will receive it, however, the tool aims to direct patients to the most appropriate place for their care. By doing this it will reduce long waits in A&E and enable our emergency care teams to focus on patients who attend with an emergency.
“A&E is for life and limb-threatening emergencies and we are urging people to think pharmacy, GP and 111 First.”
Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, said: “This new tool will help patients get the care they need in the right place and at the right time. Patients answer questions about the symptoms they have arrived at A&E with. Depending on the answers they give, this could mean people are seen where they are, or directed to other services in the area that can best meet their needs.”
The service has been commissioned as part of the 111 First initiative, which encourages everyone with an urgent health concern to visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 to find out the best place to get help and to get booked in if appropriate.
If the pilot at PRH is a success the tool will be rolled out to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.