Resources for the ambulance workforce

NHS Employers has developed a range of resources specifically for the ambulance workforce. 

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Image Source: NHS Employers

There are a range of  tools and resources  tailored to the sector which include case studies, examples of good practice and top tips available from the website.

Head First is a digital mental wellness resource design for the ambulance service, it can be accessed here. 

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Addressing ambulance handover delays

NHS England has written to ambulance trusts setting out actions that need to be embedded as part of normal working practice, and actions to be taken should ambulances begin to queue.

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 ‘Addressing ambulance handover delays: Actions for Local A&E Delivery Boards’ sets out the main points from recent guidance documents, and separates them into actions to be embedded as part of normal working practice, and actions to be taken should ambulances begin to queue.

There are 4 key principles:

  • 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.

Full document:  ‘Addressing ambulance handover delays: Actions for Local A&E Delivery Boards’

New ambulance service standards

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.

Full story via NHS England

 

CQC alerts independent ambulance providers to ’emerging patient safety concerns’

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.

Read more here

Action needed now to address risks in emergency communication switchover

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

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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.

Read the full overview here

Read the report here

 

NHS ambulance services

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published NHS ambulance services.

This report provides an update to the NAO 2011 report and examines:

  • the challenges facing the ambulance service in England
  • the performance of the service
  • the extent to which the service is maximising its impact and supporting the challenges facing the wider health system.

It highlights that NHS ambulance services are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with rising demand for urgent and emergency services.

Full report: NHS Ambulance Services

NAO Podcast on Ambulance Service:

 

Additional links: BBC news report