Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Pathfinder-Alternative-Care-Pathways-for-Older-Adults-who-Dial-999-112.pdf (112.52 kB)

Pathfinder: alternative care pathways for older adults who dial 999/112

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-26, 16:42 authored by Peter Ward, C O'Brien, L Hogan, G Corcoran, P Bernard, W Howard, R Mooney

Traditionally, in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), all patients who dial 999/112 are brought to the Emergency Department (ED), unless they decline to travel. Older people are particularly vulnerable to adverse events in the ED such as delirium, falls, infections, medication errors and functional decline. Alternative care pathway models can reduce ED crowding and improve patient outcomes, especially for those with non-urgent needs that could be treated elsewhere. 

Pathfinder is a collaboration between the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and the Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physiotherapy Departments in Beaumont Hospital, and received funding from the Slaintecare Integration Fund for a 12 month pilot in 2020 (Grant Agreement No. 392). The service aims to minimise unnecessary ED attendances for people > 65 years by utilising alternative care pathways following a 999/112 call.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Ward P. et al. Pathfinder: alternative care pathways for older adults who dial 999/112. Ir Med J. 2021;114(8):450

Publication Date

September 2021


  • Beaumont Hospital


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)