New EOC initiatives introduced

HEOC call handler

There are two trials, aimed at improving responses and better patient outcomes, starting in EOCs.

These new initiatives will be able to help call handlers triage calls to sick children and patients with stroke symptoms.

Sick children

The introduction of the ‘sick child tool’ aims to provide an improved response across the Trust to a wider group of sick children. The tool has been amended following a review of data from those patients who have been assessed using the previous MENTOOL, which was aimed at meningitis patients specifically.

The sick child tool is based on the three elements of the same paediatric assessment triangle (appearance, work of breathing and circulation) used operationally. If one of these is abnormal, indicating a potentially seriously ill child, the call handler will upgrade the call to a higher response. Based on how many sides of the triangle are affected, a quicker response will be provided to these patients.

For more information on the sick child tool, please click here.


The stroke tool is aimed at specific incidents that have been coded as a lower priority and found to have a clinical impression of stroke from clinicians on-scene.

The tool has been adapted from the FAST test and now also includes the question, ‘has there been any sudden onset of blurred vision?’, which aims to find any potential posterior strokes. If one of the answers to the enhanced tool is positive, indicating a possible stroke, then the call is upgraded to a Red 2.

This aims to ensure that the patient receives thrombolysis if eligible, and support Stroke 60 performance. This trial is only taking place with a small group of call handlers within Norwich EOC initially, and may then be rolled out regionally depending on the results.

For more information on the stoke tool, please click here.

If anyone has any specific queries, please raise these with the Clinical Coordinator Team.

Published 8th October, 2015

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