The NHS 5 year forward view explains very clearly why patients should be seen by the right person at the right place at the right time.
Services within the NHS are stretched and we need to ensure our patients get the best treatment suitable to their need in the most efficient way removing any unnecessary steps in the patient journey.
In England the development of the clinical assessment service (CAS) within integrated urgent care adds a clinical overview to patients directed to local services through the 111 system. 111 is a fantastic service with regards demand management and signposting of patients however we are well aware that any non clinical pathways based system can at times offer pathways not always suitable for some cohorts of patients, hence the need for clinical oversight.
111 has not yet landed in North Wales however there is a plan and a timeline for its implementation. Within the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board our aim was to ensure we had the correct assessment, signposting and locally delivered treatment options to ensure that patients weren’t directed unnecessarily to emergency, secondary or primary care when the need could have been met elsewhere.
SICAT now provides a safe, governed and effective platform for signposting patients to the right person at the right place at the right time. Plans are now ongoing to develop this service and bring together all clinical assessment and triage across North Wales, develop better access for patients into this service and identify any further gaps in treatment.