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Reducing Demand on Emergency Care

CUREd (urgent and emergency care) project reduced the proportion of acute hospital admissions by 1 in 5 which is equivalent to a cost saving of £700m per year for the Yorkshire and Humber region alone. 

The CUREd (urgent and emergency care) dataset covers a population of 5.5 million (Yorkshire & Humber region, UK). Routinely collected anonymised data were linked from numerous providers across the Yorkshire and Humber region including Yorkshire Ambulance Service, NHS 111 and NHS Hospital Trusts.

There are over 15 million episodes of care in the dataset:

  • Mixed rural and urban

  • 1 Ambulance Service (999 and NHS 111 services)

  • 13 acute hospital trusts

  • 19 EDs (≈10% of England)

CUREd (urgent and emergency care) provides new insights into the utilisation of emergency departments and unscheduled care for vulnerable groups to inform data-driven improvements:

  • The first ever study to link NHS 111 call data and ED attendance datasets demonstrated that 23% of people calling NHS 111 attend ED as well. Around 50% of these people are advised not to attend.

  • Algorithmic approaches to identifying patients with an avoidable ED attendance. The dataset identified 23% adults and 30% children attend ED with an avoidable problem and could be managed in more appropriate care settings such as GP, pharmacy, or through self-care.

  • Algorithms applied to ambulance service data demonstrated that 1 in 6 ambulance journeys with patients to emergency departments could be avoided.

  • By understanding geographical variation between hospitals in acute hospital admission for older patients (rates vary 43-70%), especially with short stays (rates vary 23-48%), it is possible to identify the patients who would benefit from interventions to keep them at home, or access same day emergency care.

The project estimated savings that can be made through reducing the proportion of acute hospital admissions by 1 in 5 which is equivalent to a cost saving of £700m pa, reduced ambulance transfers (1 in 6) at a saving of £8m pa and emergency department attendances (1 in 5) at £35m pa for the Yorkshire and Humber region only.


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