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New Adastra deployment helps clinicians take 111 calls during COVID-19

17/04/2020 minute read Ric Thompson

Advanced has extended its clinical patient management system (Adastra) to help NHS patients through the current crisis by providing a sophisticated overspill/queuing system for patients calling NHS 111 to ensure the integrity of those channels.

Its software already handles 80% of NHS 111 calls in England. This extension to the service was commissioned, configured, tested and specific online training material was produced within 10 days.  It has been configured to cope with many tens of thousands of enquiries a day and can potentially have up to 3,000 clinicians using the system at any one time. Advanced has been working with NHSX, NHS England and NHS Improvement to mobilise the additional clinical support needed to help patients and reduce pressure on the existing NHS 111 service. This extension will also enable the NHS network to be accessed clinicians working from home and by the retired clinicians who have been asked to return to the NHS to boost frontline services.

The queuing system ensures that patients who have assessed themselves on the NHS App, NHS 111 website or by ringing NHS 111 and who are displaying symptoms are electronically managed and directed to clinicians ensuring the NHS 111 channels don’t fail. Clinicians - whether they’re working from home, from their existing workplace or a dedicated 111 call centre – can more effectively manage the needs of patients with symptoms.

Ric Thompson, MD of Health & Care at Advanced, says: “The extension to our Adastra system, which already handles 80% of all NHS 111 calls in England, was in response to the huge increase in the number of calls to 111 but also the need to bring back many thousands of retired clinicians. We have created a sophisticated queue which can handle many tens of thousands of calls a day and up to 3,000 clinicians responding at any one time. We are proud to be supporting the NHS to win the war against COVID-19.”

Terry Kemple (@TKemple), Past President of the Royal College of General Practitioners is a returning clinician working remotely to support the NHS 111 service tweeted: “Just completed my first remote session as a returning GP for the new 111 COVID-19 clinical assessment service.  A steady stream of patients. After learning with the first few patients then the tech is easy to manage.” 

Patients who are assessed as being at low risk will be asked to self-isolate at home but will be given a call-back number should their symptoms worsen. Patients with risk factors will also be asked to self-isolate at home but will be actively monitored by clinicians – who will be equipped to work from anywhere – with regular calls. Those with severe symptoms will be directed to an appropriate health service. The service will also facilitate testing for those patients who need it.  

Advanced is also working with the NHS in Scotland to assist them in their COVID-19 response activities, update to follow when available.