Daniel P Smith, Angela McNally
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 6, Iss. 12, 08 Dec 2014, pp 634 - 641

Inappropriate frequent use of services can be a challenge for private and public sector organisations throughout the world. Whether related to satisfaction and experience, difficulties accessing alternative and more appropriate services, or unrealistic expectations, organisations must develop innovative ways of ensuring the challenge is effectively managed. If successful, organisations could enjoy increased productivity and user satisfaction. Services provided by the NHS must provide timely health care to those in need, but ignoring the challenge of inappropriate use leads to inefficiencies, poor patient experience and clinically unsafe environments. In response, integrated care systems are being developed across the NHS to develop services that are both appropriate and accessible within local communities. Ambulance services are employing a number of different techniques to tackle the issue of inappropriate or frequent use of 999 to access health care. This article examines the challenges associated with frequent 999 callers, shares the experiences of a pilot project in the North West Ambulance Service, and considers the future strategic development of frequent caller management systems for the NHS.

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