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Potential alternative destinations for NIAS patients during encompass roll-out

8th November 2023

On Thursday 9 November, the South Eastern HSC Trust will begin implementing a new regional digital innovation, “encompass”. encompass will transfer patient records from paper based systems to enable digital access to patient records. This will create greater efficiency and enhance patient safety across HSCNI.

As with the introduction of all new systems there will be a short period of time required to enable staff to get used to this new way of working. South Eastern Trust has already indicated that there will be a short term impact on some of their services. There is a possibility that this disruption may impact on flow through the Emergency Department.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service works closely with Trusts on a daily basis in a joint effort to ensure that patients receive necessary treatment in the shortest possible time. To deliver this, for the benefit of patients, NIAS crews, on occasion, have brought patients to Emergency Departments, other than the closest one, taking account of pressures across the system. As such redirecting ambulances to the most appropriate Emergency Department is not unusual.

In the event of EDs within the South Eastern Trust facing increased pressures during the bedding-in period of encompass, patients who have called 999 may find that they will be taken to the most appropriate ED, which may not be within the SE Trust area, to meet their clinical need.

South Eastern Trust has indicated that they anticipate that any delays experienced will only be for a short period of time. During this period we would ask that you co-operate and respect the clinical based decisions of our crews. These decisions will always be made in the best interests of our patients.

Thank you.