Reducing avoidable admissions

Taunton: Reducing avoidable admissions

Region: Plymouth
Geography: Rural


  • 20% year on year increases in referral rate
  • To improve integration with primary care

Target patient groups

0-18 year

The service model

Reducing avoidable admissions centred around three main strategies:

1. Putting expertise at front end of pathway e.g. senior on admission phone, consultants on shop floor etc

2. Planning the unplanned e.g. safeguarding clinic, bronchiolitis pathways etc

3. Integrating with primary care e.g. HANDi Smartphone App, primary care paediatric, advice and guidance service.

  • HANDi Smartphone App (see Google play or App Store):  an info support tool for parents and professionals dealing with 5 common conditions (D&V, fever, wheezy, newborn, gastro pain). It was pump primed by the SCN (Strategic Clinical Network) and is available to others as a “skin” to personalise.
  • Primary care paediatric clinics: each GP practice cluster has a session every 8 weeks.
  • Advice and guidance service: all outpatient referral forms are seen and triaged the same day. 40% can be managed by advice and guidance (with red flags in letter to share governance)

Who can refer


Who is accountable for patients?

The clinician who sees the patient

Funding organisation

  • HANDi pump-primed by SCN.
  • Consultant on lates is CCG funded but the senior advice line is not yet funded.

Level of patient/family involvement

Patient involvement as part of being an FT. Newspaper articles on 6 common conditions and invited patient feedback. Comms team in FT regularly involve patients. GP practices have posters with QR (quick response) codes and info on TV screens with practices.  FT has posters with QR codes.

Level of integration in the system



Currently gathering data on outpatient referrals comparing GP practices with the primary care paediatric clinics and those without.

HANDI app-there are analytics within the app to see which condition is most searched. Average of 3000 searches per month – this is not just use in Taunton as has been reskinned.

Sarah keen for others in the NHS to make use of this app and happy for her app to be skinned.  It has been reskinned for Derriford and Plymouth, Royal Devon and Exeter and Barnstable and United Bristol Healthcare Trust. Currently working with Swindon and Bath and Cornwall on reskinning.

Contact for more information

Sarah Bridges

07837 682855


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