Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Oops they wouldn’t do this again would they?

Yet another piece in Pulse magazine (thanks guys you’re on a roll lately) caught our eye. We are told by the new ConDem coalition that NHS efficiency savings are required but just have a look at the efficiency gains on this one.

Out goes NHS (re)Direct with its paltry one third of all calls redirected to general practice and A&E just look at the 911 efficiency savings, oops wrong country, 111 efficiency savings.

In a trial site in County Durham and Darlington a massive efficiency gain has meant that the 911, oops 111 number, managed to redirect a staggering 85% of its calls to general practice. Add the 2% redirected to A&E and that is a total redirection rate of 87% almost 3 times as efficient as NHS (re)Direct.

The ConDems are onto a winner with this one to reduce the budget deficient by next Tuesday especially if it rolls out nationally. Another pilot site reports 55% referral to general practice but are 3 times better at A&E redirection and together this adds up to a 61% redirection rate almost twice as good as NHS (re)Direct.

Furthermore this 911, sorry 111 centres, are much more efficient than idle GPs for they don’t have a 48 hour access target to meet they have gone several stages better. So even more bangs for ones tax buck.

According to the article, of just under 2000 calls to the Lincolnshire and Nottingham 111 pilot, 13% were told to see their GP within two hours, 24% were told to attend that same day and only 19% were made to make a routine GP appointment. Excellent the 48 hour target slashed for almost half of all users.

We do not know what happened to the remaining 44%. We would like to think they were given some practical healthcare advice perhaps along the lines of something off and die or better still were told to ring the NHS (re)Direct number to give them a second bite at the cherry?

Certain professions it is said get thicker by experience and we would argue that politicians may just happen to fall into that group. If NHS (re)Direct is replaced by 111 services with a doubling or tripling of redirection services then this will truly be world-class efficiency gains by the coalition no doubt based on Za Nu Labour’s successful piloting of call centres as a means of healthcare redirection and improvement.

Praise be to the Party for building on the sound foundations of failed policies and making them worse. That budget deficient doesn’t standard a chance with ideas this good . . .