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New digital solutions are changing the way the NHS plans patient visits, cutting down the number of miles travelled and reducing fuel usage.

Technology is changing the way people access healthcare. This has been accelerated during the pandemic. However, no amount of technical advancement will ever remove the need for face-to-face appointments and visits. This results in millions of healthcare-related journeys every year.

A significant number of these journeys are made by community nurses visiting older and more vulnerable patients. Around three million people receive care at home every year. Changing dressings and administering medication are just two examples of the vital in-person role that community nurses play. These visits are critical to health and wellbeing.

Advanced technology

Scheduling these visits is a complex, difficult job. It can result in unnecessary trips and long travel time for nurses on the road. Journeys need to be planned as efficiently as possible, to maximise the time nurses can spend caring for their patients.

This is where advanced technology can help. TPP’s award winning Autoplanner software uses intelligent algorithms to unlock the most efficient routes for nursing teams. The software automatically schedules visits across entire regions every day, matching the right clinician with the right patient, based on geography, type of care needed and clinical preference. It significantly reduces travel time and cuts cost, whilst ensuring patients get the care they need.


This not only improves patient care, but also aligns with the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy. Every mile each nurse drives contributes to national emissions, air pollution and fuel use.

New digital solutions are changing the way the NHS plans patient visits.

Figures already show a positive environmental impact and increased efficiencies. Data has shown a 34% time saving on visit allocation, a 22% reduction in mileage and a 23% increase in visits made by community nurses. Kelly Rocher, Clinical Lead at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, an early adopter of Autoplanner, says, “It’s so much quicker. It’s going to make a great difference to the way we allocate our visits and save a lot of time.”

Giving back time

The system is customisable to reflect local priorities and resource. When implemented by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, the functionality saved significant amounts of time, freeing-up the equivalent of 1.5 days of nursing time every day. At the same time, face-to-face patient contact time increased from 31% to 71%.

TPP’s Emma Brownless, who leads on sustainability, says, “Autoplanner’s advanced technology is a real game changer. It’s brilliant that we’re able to give back time to frontline staff and improve patient care, whilst enabling the NHS to minimise its impact on the environment. This is one of the many green initiatives that TPP is proudly supporting.”

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