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Case Studies

Conversant's new mental health 111 service helps save up to £4.7m for this NHS Trust

A combination of sophisticated skills-based call routing and a fully enabled agile hybrid working environment.  "Conversant reduced admissions to A+E by a quarter, while being responsible for substantial savings."

Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Trust

Conversant:

  • Provided a resilient, secure and future-proofed unified communications platform
  • Helped save CPFT up to £4.7m by reducing the number of people by a third requiring A&E for mental health problems, easing winter pressures
  • Enabled an agile hybrid working environment
  • Integrated Office 365 with Teams – everything in one place 

“By selecting a “mental health help” option using the current 111 system, the person experiencing mental health crisis can be directed to the right team for assessment, onward treatment or advice.”

The Client

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) is dedicated to providing high quality care with compassion. The Trust delivers many of the NHS services that are provided outside of hospital and in the community, such as physical and mental health, and specialist services including disability and substance misuse - which means it has complex communications requirements in order to keep at least ten separate services connected, for both staff and patients.

The Challenge

After speaking with Richard Matt, Associate Director at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Conversant devised a long-term approach to help them improve their telecommunications systems. CPFT recognised that inefficient systems were leading to bottlenecks, harming patient outcomes and costing money through unnecessary admissions to A+E.

Implementation

After an extensive phase of testing, we onboarded all members of staff, adding our Voice for Teams solution to their communication strategy. Our Direct Routing service allows members of the First Response Team and Admin Hubs to operate in a safe environment through remote, agile, and flexible working. 

The next phase was the roll out of our full Nimbus Contact Centre for Teams, enabling more efficient communication and statistics, including directing calls to the best team member, and real-time reporting and recording of all calls.

Results

Over the period of 8 months post-implementation, nearly 10,000 people called and the effect on A&E admissions has been profound.

  • 97 per cent of calls to the 111 option 2 number did not need A&E

  • 26 per cent fewer people overall needed to be taken to A&E by ambulance

  • 25 per cent fewer people needed A&E for mental health problems

  • 19 per cent reduction in overall A&E mental health admissions was seen.

There has been a 16 per cent reduction in the number of overdoses and estimates show the scheme could have saved the local health and care system up to £4.7m.

Cambridge and Peterborough Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Mental Health Clinical Lead Dr Emma Tiffin, said: “By selecting a “mental health help” option using the current 111 system the person experiencing mental health crisis can be directed to the right team for assessment, onward treatment or advice. This 111 mental health pathway has proved to effectively reduce mental health related A&E attendances and hospital admissions.

“Ensuring that people are accessing the right service at the right time is key to reducing costs, duplication and confusion. Above all that, it means that patients will have a better experience of care and better outcomes first time.”

The area now has two sanctuaries with outreach facilities for rural areas which provide a safe space for people in crisis available all year round from 6pm-1am.

Caroline Meiser-Stedman, FRS Consultant Psychiatrist said: “Recently we had a call from a gentleman, who had never accessed mental health services before, but was worried about his wife. After speaking to 111 option2 staff, who calmed the situation down, they arranged an urgent face-to-face assessment.

“A couple of hours later a psychiatrist and a member of the crisis home treatment team visited their home. After some time talking to her, she agreed to come to the ward. If she had gone directly to A&E she would’ve almost certainly become very unsettled and left or it would have led to her being restrained under the Mental Health Act.

“This way we were able to get her the right help quickly.”

48 per cent of calls are self-referral with a significant number also from GPs, police and ambulance services.

The package
  • Teams Direct Routing which enables CPFT to use Teams as their phone system: 

    • Conversant Calling Plans with bundled minutes 
    • New geo and non-geo phone numbers
    • Number porting services 
  • A Nimbus Contact Centre solution, installed to handle calls and provide inbound and outbounds call services, including: 

    • Visibility of calls in all queues
    • Call waiting times and numbers
    • Welcome messages and announcements
    • Transfer, forwarding and divert options
    • Supervisor management tools
    • Full reporting and analysis
  • Compliant Call Recording which allows CPFT to record all calls
    • Powerful search and retrieval
    • Online playback
    • User synchronisation from Azure AD
    • Configurable retention policies
    • Call Import/ Export, Access Approval, Workflows, and Legal Hold 

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