We’re working alongside Kernow Health CiC to support the Cornwall 111 Out of Hours Service to refer people into the voluntary sector.
Traditionally, if a patient phoned 111 in the ‘out of hours’ period (6pm-8am Monday-Friday and weekends) with an issue that was more ‘social’ than ‘medical’, they would be advised to arrange to see their GP the following day. The patient would then have to make an appointment to see their GP and in the short consultation have to explain again what the issue they are facing was. If they managed to do all of this, they were still dependent on their GP knowing where they might be able to access support, and then they would have to make contact with that organisation and explain the problem yet again.
Our project aims to link people up with support the first time they tell us there is an issue. The Out of Hours team now have access to information about voluntary sector support which they can give to people. If the person is anxious about or unable to make contact themselves, the ‘in hours’ team will phone the organisation to make a referral on their behalf.
We believe this is better for people, as they get the right support at the right time. It is also better for the system because people won’t need to access multiple levels of healthcare before getting the social support they need.