Blended Pathways

We promote, digital first, not digital only and recognise digital pathways are not ideal for everyone or everything. This is why blended pathways work best, with patients at their choice, seamlessly moving between physical and virtual pathways.

We provide the options, you pick to match your needs from using Virtual Lucy on your own to using our teams for remote and physical consultations and treatment.

What are blended pathways?

Blended pathways are a mix of physical and digital services, with patients moving seamlessly between both at their convenience.

Linking the Virtual Lucy, single point of access for outpatient services to the HBSUK insourcing model, means we can manage end-to-end pathways for patients on your behalf or we do it together.

“Whilst you may see a rocky road ahead, we see a clear and simple pathway”

Stemming the tide – secondary care

Unless anything is done to change the ‘front door’ for secondary care, whilst the existing problem is alleviated, this will build up again. By having Virtual Lucy as the single point of access to outpatients, this can act as a gateway between primary and secondary care ie the ‘exit door’ for primary care and the ‘front door’ for secondary care.

Data collected across a number of specialities, suggests that up to 50% patients referred from primary care to secondary care, may be managed with no need to enter a physical secondary care service.

Collaboration and Blended Option

The ‘C’ in the HBSUK EPIC Values is ‘Collaboration’. We will fit in where it is best for you. 

HBSUK can provide: 

  • Virtual Lucy, our single point of access outpatient platform (product) 
  • Virtual clinical resources (to use Virtual Lucy) 
  • Physical resources for insourcing  
  • Permanent nurses, AHP’s, midwives as part of International Recruitment


We can provide any part of the above with the rest provided by the NHS, or if preferred, another insourcing provider.  We will always collaborate with everyone and recognise things change over time.   

We can also signpost to other services or take inputs from additional services.  We can do via eRS (electronic referral system) or is HL7/FHIR enabled, provide API connections for fully integrated and interoperable services.  A high-level view of how everything fits together is shown here.  

Collaboration and Blended Option

Whilst Virtual Lucy can deal with waiting lists already arrived in secondary care or act as the gateway between primary and secondary care, the maximum benefit may be realised if used as a single point of access for any presenting patient to the healthcare system.   

If a newly presenting patient is triaged via Virtual Lucy, they will get to the right person, first time in over 98% of cases.  This person could be from the primary care network (PCN), covering the community, mental health, social care, pharmacy network, hospitals, third sector and social prescribing.  The clinical expert may be a nurse, advanced nurse practitioner, clinical pharmacist, general practitioner, consultant or other.  In many cases, patients may be offered self-management options too.  

In the more distant future, the clinical expert may be transitioned to a computer decision making tool, through machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) or indeed augmented virtuality (AV) and virtual reality (VR).  At HBSUK we continue to study this and using data driven outcomes will pilot and introduce solutions only when safety and quality are guaranteed.