EPUT improves operational efficiencies in mental health calls with Refero

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has gone live with a new telehealth messaging and engagement platform from Refero, for its mental health contact centre. The platform will support the influx of 111 crisis calls since the pandemic and improve operational efficiencies within the Trust.

The Refero Engagement Platform provides enhanced messaging between the contact centre and the clinician, ensuring better patient care and collaboration for the Trust. The centralised system also provides ‘live’ whereabouts visibility of clinicians, out of hours calendars and rotas, and Wiki information accessible to contact centre agents, clinicians and other Trust staff.

Since the pandemic, the contact centre has also been dealing with Test and Trace enquiries and taking urgent community response calls, to support the ambulance services and district nursing teams. In the future, it plans to expand its remit to manage all of the Trust’s calls through its contact centre.

Tony Barwick, Customer Service Manager at EPUT, says, “Since the pandemic, we’ve had a 66 percent increase in daily calls to our contact centre. Refero’s Engagement Platform has helped us streamline, so we can cope better with the demand for our mental health and community services. Importantly, our contact centre now has sight of when a clinician has seen a message, which greatly reduces administration time for all parties and speeds up the process of responding to a patient in need of urgent care.”

He continues, “We’ve already saved up to an hour per day on agents’ time with the new more efficient centralised system.  Agents’ time is freed up to deal with more calls and caller waiting times have already halved from four to two minutes. Clinician follow ups to callers have also been greatly improved as agents are better informed of clinicians’ rotas and whereabouts, together with improved efficiencies around night shift handovers and grading of call urgency.”

Sadie Plunkett, IT Project and Implementation Manager at EPUT comments, “Refero delivered a platform that was designed specifically for our Trust’s requirements. Its versatility enables us to future proof the system for any further requirements. The new telecare platform has been received favourably by clinicians and contact centre agents alike and has encouraged us all to work more cohesively together.”

Refero’s Engagement Platform has been integrated with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, EPUT’s telephony system, deployed earlier in the year. The new Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) service, provided by Cinos, consolidated and modernised its legacy telephony estate.

EPUT specialises in community health and mental health services and operates from around 200 locations across Bedfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Luton. It serves around 2.5 million people and employs around 7,000 staff.