NHSE highlights data monitoring and evaluation in SAMEDAY strategy

NHS England has published SAMEDAY strategy, a framework for the development and delivery of same day emergency care (SDEC) with data playing a key role in monitoring and evaluating to identify patients suitable for same day care, with the role of digital noted to support ease of referrals and sharing of patient information.

Seven priorities are highlighted within the strategy, including monitoring and evaluation alongside diagnostics and testing capacity to support access, and alternative approaches to admission.

On monitoring and evaluation, NHSE places emphasis on the need for a system-wide approach to recording same day activity to ensure consistent reporting. In place of the current system of counting SDECs (based on zero-day length of stay), the strategy notes that a national pilot which saw SDEC activity recorded on the emergency care data set has demonstrated “better analysis of SDEC-related activity to enable effective data-informed decisions on service provision”. All urgent and emergency care activity is set to be recorded within the emergency care data set by April 2024, which will then provide a “single source of comprehensive, accurate and timely data” for emergency departments, urgent treatment centres, ambulance services and all other urgent care services in England.

NHSE goes on to share guidance around the SDEC dashboard on the FutureNHS platform, describing  it as “not a performance monitoring tool, but intended primarily for use at local level”, with useful data for clinical, operational and business intelligence teams.

The importance of collecting “accurate and timely” data to evaluate patient experience of SDEC is also raised within the strategy, with NHSE sharing that 10 quality markers have been developed for evaluation of experience, to support SDEC services in considering their delivery of care. The quality markers include elements such as ensuring that people using SDEC are greeted upon arrival, that they have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback; they can be found in full here.

Regarding access, the strategy states that SDEC services should be profiled within the directory of services, and notes that the approach to profiling should be standardised across integrated care systems or regional footprints. This should include information such as when referrals are accepted, exclusion criteria, guidance on how to refer and direct contact numbers, with NHSE adding that a “regular comprehensive review” of the directory will assist with increased referrals, “supported by a digital direct referral to the provider”.

Looking at diagnostics and testing, NHSE states that SDEC providers should review technologies capable of supporting rapid diagnosis of monitoring of conditions, particularly for those that may present acutely; thought should also be given to the development of point-of-care testing to support rapid decision-making.

On alternatives to admission, the strategy points out that virtual wards may be suitable for patients with a range of conditions, and suggests that SDEC teams should collaborate with virtual ward colleagues to support patients to remain at home where appropriate.

A number of resources are included within the strategy, such as self-assessment tools outlining opportunities for improvement; here, NHSE encourages services to examine their use of digital tools in supporting future planning to assist with referrals and sharing patient information, as well as their use of booking tools to streamline services.

Access the strategy in full here.

Earlier this month HTN explored the latest papers from the NHS board meeting, including a focus on progress of digital across the system; catch up here.