Frequent Callers

The Frequent Caller team form a key part of the Trust, helping to ensure that we can provide a safe and effective service to all patients across the South West.

The team automatically receive information about all patients that meet the national definition of a frequent caller. This definition is set by the Frequent Caller National Network (FreCaNN) and is defined as “an individual who is over 18 years of age who contacts the ambulance service 5 or more time, relating to individual episodes of care, in a month, or 12 times relating to individual episodes of care, in 3 months.

The team review all patients meeting the criteria which helps clinicians to understand the level of clinical need and risk of the individual. From this, the team can understand how best the Trust can triage/assess callers and whether face-to-face responses are necessary or whether an alternative method of support is needed to ensure the right care is provided to that individual as well as ensuring ambulances are available to provide a safe and effective service to all, across the South West.

The team collaborate with various external healthcare providers looking for ways to support these people better. This helps to reduce the number of crises experienced by an individual, made evident by the number of contacts made with the ambulance service.

As part of this process, letters will be sent to the frequent callers, their GP and keyworkers, highlighting the number of calls they are making and the impact this is having on the 999 service. We will engage in multi-agency meetings to discuss ways of collaborating and addressing patient risk to forge any new ways of working, to support individuals. However, the team are also able to escalate any cases that are deemed clinical inappropriate and link in with police and the courts, where necessary.

Wherever possible though, the team will look to pursue a decriminalised and person-centred approach to support the individual, rather than resorting to punitive measures. These are only used once all other options have been exhausted and the local Police Force believes there is evidence that a law has been broken or the number of calls and high volume use of emergency resources is endangering the local community.

The team regularly link with High Intensity User groups set up across the various Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), to support patient care and reduce the number of emergencies experienced by an individual. 

Health care professionals who would like to speak to a member of the Frequent Caller Team should contact