NHS PathwaysAn evolving clinical assessment tool designed for effectively triaging over the telephone, regardless of the source of the call—including 999, NHS Direct, GP out-of-hours, NHS 111, and any other Single Point of Access phone number.
The NHS Pathways initiative was driven by increasing pressure on both ambulance services and A&E departments, part of which is caused by patients calling 999 for minor injuries that could be better managed in primary care; because urgent and emergency care has been fragmented and disconnected, patients often don't know where to go or whom to call for non-life threatening urgent care, leading in turn to inconsistencies in transport responses and treatments received. NHS Pathways helps by ensuring effective triage for those accessing urgent and emergency care services, reducing patients’ need to repeat information, and directing them to the correct care the first time.
NHS Pathways is developed and maintained by NHS clinicians with extensive experience in both urgent and emergency care provision, and also of clinical decision support tools. This includes GPs, nurses, paramedics and many more. NHS Pathways is under constant review and direction via the independent National Clinical Governance Group chaired by the Royal College of General Practitioners; representatives from Royal Colleges with an interest in urgent and emergency care; College of Emergency Medicine; British Medical Association; and other organisations involved in the delivery of urgent and emergency care.
NHS Pathways was awarded a ministerial licence in 2009, becoming one of only three systems to be endorsed.