Taking a look at frequent callers, and how you can help us

Bedford EOC 1

We now get around 2,500 emergency 999 calls every single day.

We know that a vast majority of those are for people who really need us, and often haven’t ever called 999 before. But there is, albeit a very small, group of service users who use our 999 service a lot more frequently; as well as having a significant impact on our resources and our staff, an emergency response isn’t often the best route for these patients, with alternative care pathways usually being a much better option.

So how can we help these people? The term ‘frequent caller’ and use of specific care plans to manage these patients has been used more and more over the last 18 months, and it’s been a real focus for our clinical coordinators within the EOCs, with the teams already managing more than 240 frequent caller patients here at EEAST under the new frequent caller policy.

What are the triggers for a ‘frequent caller’? 

Adults over 18 who call:

  • five or more times in a month period
  • 12 or more calls in a three month period
  • 15 or more calls in a one month period, from a communal address 

How can you report a frequent caller?

Although plans are created and managed by the clinical coordinator team, they can do a lot more with your help. If you want to contact them to highlight a patient that you think could benefit from a frequent caller programme, or update information on an already existing record, you can email:

Please do not send any patient identifiable information to the unsecure email address, and make sure you email the secure email address from a secure account as well. If you don’t have a secure nhs.net email account please talk to your line manager about how to send your information to the team securely. 

The team would like you to email any CAD numbers which they can then access. It will help if you can provide patient details including name, DOB and GP and any other relevant information that you think will help the team to develop a plan for that patient.


What happens once a frequent caller plan has been created?

Once the team have confirmed that a person falls into the ‘frequent caller’ markers, they will create an appropriate care plan and share that with the patient’s GP for them to approve and sign-off. From this point, it allows us to better manage those patients and give them a more appropriate response.


Want to be involved? 

The team are looking for frequent caller champions to stay in regular contact with the coordinator team and patient-facing staff and update information on individuals in the database. They also need help with attendance at local meetings with GPs, nurses, and police etc., so all services are managing the patients in the same, appropriate way. If you feel that you can help as a local link and champion then please contact your line manager, and then get in touch at frequentcallers@eastamb.nhs.uk.

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