Taking pressure off A&E in Oldham

20 May 2019

In Oldham they’re addressing the pressures in A&E with innovative service redesign and the help of technology.

In April The Royal Oldham Hospital went live with EMIS Web to support clinical streaming at the front door of A&E and a new Urgent Treatment Centre model of care – ensuring that patients are directed to the service best suited to their needs.

The A&E department at The Royal Oldham Hospital has been using Symphony, our A&E clinical IT system, to support urgent care. Now, using EMIS Web, Oldham Cares – an integrated care organisation (ICO) made up of members from the NHS, Oldham Council and the voluntary sector – have introduced a primary-care led service based alongside, and integrated with the A&E department.

The NHS Long Term Plan outlines the need to redesign urgent care to ensure that patients get the care they need, fast, and to relieve pressure on A&Es. This newly designed service in Oldham does just this, meaning that patients have a real alternative to A&E. It means that stretched resources are used appropriately for those who need them most.

This system-wide approach means that now when a patient arrives in A&E they’re registered on Symphony and seen by a triage streaming nurse working for the acute hospital. If the nurse’s assessment indicates that their clinical needs can be met in primary care the patient is set up on EMIS Web where the GP-led team can use the Patient Tracking module to access details of what patients are presenting with, assess severity and manage four-hour targets.

The primary care led team can order bloods and send for x-rays just like in A&E, but by being able to focus on patients with a specific level of need they can treat them quicker. They’re also able to refer them back into A&E as required. This leaves teams in A&E to focus on patients who need their specialist level of expertise.

Dr Shelley Grumbridge clinical director for urgent care and IM&T at Oldham Cares/CCG said, “The use of EMIS Web’s Patient Tracking within an urgent care setting enables a full primary care EPR to comply with the national UTC standards, but more than that, it enables primary care clinicians to use a clinical system they are already familiar with. We are also working with our primary care practices in Oldham to enable the viewing of the patient’s GP record within this service. Improving efficiencies, safety, and most of all quality of care for patients. It will enable greater communication and continuity of care, reduce duplication and save patient’s and carers precious time.”

Suzy Foster, our chief executive officer said, “We know that A&E services are under pressure that’s why it’s so important that we continue to develop the technology needed to enable service redesign like we’ve seen in Oldham. By making sure that clinicians have the information they need to deliver care in the right place, at the right time, we can not only support better, faster patient care but also help services make the most of the resources available to them.”


Joined up technology to support better care in urgent treatment centres

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With the ability to view and share data with other organisation, including primary care and other community-based services, we're helping helping urgent treatment centres to provide a locally accessible and convenient alternative to A&E for patients who don't need to attend hospital.

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