Paramedic Pathfinder & Urgent Care Desk

In our previous Brief, we introduced the Paramedic Pathfinder and Urgent Care Desk schemes; which aim to better deliver patients to the most appropriate treatment for them.  A vital element of these schemes is the use of Community Care Pathways, which will allow patients access to specialist treatment, within the community via their lead healthcare professional. 

Community Care Pathways are an alternative pathway of care for patients with long term conditions or complex health or social care needs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or patients who are prone to falls and who are already known to care providers.  Each Community Care Pathway is designed to improve the quality of care to individual patients, via their individual care plan.  The individual care plan, which is kept at the patient's home enables NWAS crews to easily identify the most appropriate care option for the patient, as identified by their lead healthcare professional.

Aligned to the implementation stage of Paramedic Pathfinder and the development of Community Care Pathways, is the Electronic Referrals Information Sharing System (ERISS).  ERISS is a key contributor and element to the success of the Paramedic Pathfinder project, as it will enable NWAS clinicians, to be aware of the patients individual care needs, any risks factors, access information and the existence of a pre-existing Community Care Pathway - individual Care Plan at the patients address.

The ERISS platform will be live with early adopters in February 2013. More information can be found at

Since the last Stakeholder update in November 2012, the number of potential Community Care Pathway initiatives has increased by 17%, from 78 to 95 throughout the North West.

The target for individual care plans, tailored to the patients individual care needs is 54,000 by 2017 and the Pathfinder Team are on track to achieve their initial 8,000 Community Care Plans, by end of March 2013.

Three new Pathfinders are being developed to cover Obstetric and Gynaecological, Children and Mental Health patients, alongside the two existing pathfinders for Medical and Trauma Patients.