The patients in the urgent care pathway who are at highest risk of preventable harm are those for whom a high priority 999 emergency call has been received, but no ambulance resource is available for dispatch.
Acute Trusts must always accept handover of patients within 15 minutes of an ambulance arriving at the ED or other urgent admission facility (e.g. medical/surgical assessment units, ambulatory care etc.)
Leaving patients waiting in ambulances or in a corridor supervised by ambulance personnel is inappropriate.
The patient is the responsibility of the ED from the moment that the ambulance arrives outside the ED department, regardless of the exact location of the patient.
NHS England has announced a new set of performance targets for the ambulance service which will apply to all 999 calls for the first time.
National response targets to apply to every single 999 patient for the first time
Faster treatment for those needing it to save 250 lives a year
An end to “hidden waits” for millions of patients
Up to 750,000 more calls a year to get an immediate response
New standards to drive improved care for stroke and heart attack
World’s largest clinical ambulance trial updates decades-old system
The new targets will save lives and remove “hidden” and long waits suffered by millions of patients, including reducing lengthy waits for the frail and elderly. The new system is backed by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation amongst others.
Call handlers will change the way they assess cases and will have slightly more time to decide the most appropriate clinical response. As a result cardiac arrest patients can be identified quicker than ever before, with evidence showing this could save up to 250 lives every year.
The CQC is calling on independent ambulance services in England to ensure they care for their patients safely after its inspections to date have found significant concerns.
CQC has carried out 70 comprehensive inspections of independent ambulance services since April 2015. From many of these inspections, CQC has identified common concerns around poor medicines management, cleanliness and infection control practices and a lack of appropriate recruitment checks.
The Public Accounts Committee report warns that the target date to replace the radio system used by emergency services is unlikely to be met | Commons Select Committee
In a their report, the Committee concludes the Emergency Services Network (ESN), which will replace the current Airwave system, “may require more testing and assurance work than the current December 2019 delivery date seems to allow for”.
However, the Committee warns the Home Office has not budgeted for an extended transition period nor put in place detailed contingency arrangements to manage this risk.
ESN, a system not yet in use nationwide anywhere in the world, will be used by the 105 police, fire and ambulance services in Great Britain.
The Government expects it to save money by sharing EE’s existing commercial 4G network.