Connecting Wales CAV 24/7
A&E telephone triage first for Wales
Connecting Wales flattens peak for emergency units
As the coronavirus pandemic reached its peak in Wales, an urgent primary care service was required which encouraged patients to access the right service at the right time. Using the existing Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s out-of-hours service as a template, a 365 day per year remote clinical assessment service – CAV 24/7 – was introduced which helps patients choose the right service for their needs, including managed time slots in the Emergency Unit for patients requiring urgent care. This telephony service sits on the Connecting Wales platform.
Contact Centre Agents
Average Calls Per Day
Average Calls Per Weekend
Year Round Availability
This led to discussions with A&E staff, who were concerned that workloads and peaks and troughs in non-emergency attendances be managed. The result was CAV 24/7 – the first service of its kind in Wales – providing a 365 day per year call-handling service.
The Connecting Wales service is shortly to be extended to also include telephony call-backs from clinicians within Cardiff Royal Infirmary, which is currently conducted through health board telephony services.
Because an out-of-hours service for Cardiff and Vale Health Board was already in existence and on the Connecting Wales platform, it was simple to scale-up a highly resilient and secure CAV 24/7 service on the existing telephony platform. Recruitment of staff was an initial challenge.
Costs were based on the Connecting Wales framework agreement, which ensures easy and affordable procurement for public sector bodies. Thanks to the framework agreement, the solution required no additional call charges for outbound call-backs from clinicians.
Because of the nature of the cloud-based platform, call handlers and clinicians can potentially work from home in the future. It’s a triage-system being considered by many other health boards and is likely to be a feature of healthcare even after the pandemic ends to evenly spread workloads and hospital attendance.
Connecting Wales in action
The CAV24/7 model has been an extremely important feature during this pandemic and we are proud to have pioneered it in Wales. It has enabled us to ensure patient safety and clinical workloads, while continuing to provide the best healthcare available. The model has been recognised as a pathfinder for Wales, and other health boards in Wales and further afield are likely to follow our example. It is a system which allows patient care to be handled safely while ensuring the most urgent cases are treated with the highest priority.
DR Sherard Le Maitre
Clinical Director of CAV 24/7
Establishing a sparkling new contact centre service in record time, with high functionality and reduced costs is what Connecting Wales is all about. The fact that CAV 24/7 has helped to reduce A&E queues, protect patients and healthcare staff in these uncertain times, is an additional bonus. This type of triage service is likely to be a feature in future, and we are delighted that Connecting Wales has enabled the first of its type in Wales.
Managing Director, Managing Director at Vale of Glamorgan Council
Vale of Glamorgan Council