The challenges:

  • To reduce the cost of the department.
  • To increase efficiencies and increase staff capacity for value-add patient tasks.
  • To transform activity to meet the patient backlog accrued during the pandemic.
  • To improve the patient experience.

The technical solution:

  • Procured Blue Prism and developed in-house automation team.

Processes automated using RPA:

  • GP routine, urgent and Fast Track (two-week wait) referrals
  • Telederm referrals
  • Cancer MDT referrals
  • Dental referrals
  • Clinic preparation
  • Appointment cancellation via online and text
  • Patient demographic validation between PAS, eRS and SPINE
  • Finance invoices to Web Centre
  • Radiology RTT clock stops
  • Texting of staff PCR Covid results
  • Vehicle tax and MOT status for Northern Ambulance Alliance (which comprises four ambulance trusts)
  • Appointment status with primary care.


  • Significant WTE savings through redeployment of staff.
  • Increased job satisfaction and staff experience for colleagues redeployed from repetitive administrative processes to ‘higher value’ roles.
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Reduced human factor errors
  • Built NHS processes for the NHS by NHS substantive staff – no expensive consultancies or private providers needed.
  • Improved patient experience.
  • Cost benefits for patients and colleagues.
  • Delivering Trust-wide services in a modern way.
  • Inter- and intra-Trust integration; primary and secondary care integration through automation.

Other points to note:

  • 20 months after go-live, RPA has delivered six years of time back to colleagues to have a quality experience at work – see graph below.
  • Proof of concept is underway with primary care.
  • ‘Plug and Play’ with trusts using like-for-like applications in discussions for proof of concept with two regional trusts).

Contact for further information:

This case study is one in a series exploring the use of RPA in various NHS settings. It forms part of a guide produced by the West of England AHSN sharing our learning around RPA.

Read the full guide online here or download the guide as a PDF here.