The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Reconfiguring the emergency and urgent care workforce: mixed methods study of skills and the everyday work of non-clinical call-handlers in the NHS

Turnbull, Joanne, Prichard, Jane, Pope, Catherine, Halford, Susan and Salisbury, Chris (2012) Reconfiguring the emergency and urgent care workforce: mixed methods study of skills and the everyday work of non-clinical call-handlers in the NHS Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 17, (4), pp. 233-240. (doi:10.1258/jhsrp.2012.011141). (PMID:23024183).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Abstract Objectives To examine the skills and expertise required and used by non-clinical call-handlers doing telephone triage and assessment, supported by a computer decision support system (CDSS) in urgent and emergency care services.

Methods Comparative case study of three different English emergency and urgent care services. Data consisted of nearly 500 hours of non-participant observation, 61 semi-structured interviews with health service staff, documentary analysis, and a survey of 106 call-handlers.

Results Communication skills and ‘allowing the CDSS to drive the assessment’ are viewed by the CDSS developers and staff as key competencies for call-handling. Call-handlers demonstrated high levels of experience, skills and expertise in using the CDSS. These workers are often portrayed simply as ‘trained users’ of technology, but they used a broader set of skills including team work, flexibility and ‘translation’. Call-handlers develop a ‘pseudo-clinical’ expertise and draw upon their experiential knowledge to bring the CDSS into everyday use.

Conclusions Clinical assessment and triage by non-clinical staff supported by a CDSS represents a major change in urgent and emergency care delivery, warranting a detailed examination of call-handlers’ skills and expertise. We found that this work appears to have more in common with clinical work and expertise than with other call-centre work that it superficially resembles. Recognizing the range of skills call-handlers demonstrate and developing a better understanding of this should be incorporated into the training for, and management of, emergency and urgent care call-handling.

Microsoft Word Reconfiguring_the_Emergency_&_Urgent-FINAL-RE.doc - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (136kB)

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 28 September 2012
Published date: October 2012
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 341500
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341500
PURE UUID: 3e6c71cb-4379-46de-9385-2f58b65ef39c
ORCID for Joanne Turnbull: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5006-4438
ORCID for Jane Prichard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7455-2244
ORCID for Catherine Pope: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8935-6702

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jul 2012 09:04
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:35

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Joanne Turnbull ORCID iD
Author: Jane Prichard ORCID iD
Author: Catherine Pope ORCID iD
Author: Susan Halford
Author: Chris Salisbury

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×