Ambulance trusts working at full stretch to reduce unnecessary call-outs

27 September 2018

 

In response to Lord Carter's report on the productivity of ambulance trusts, the deputy director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said: 

"Ambulance trusts are feeling the effects of rising demand for emergency services outpacing funding increases, difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, and the need to adapt the way they meet the changing care needs of patients.

Ambulance trusts are feeling the effects of rising demand for emergency services outpacing funding increases, difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, and the need to adapt the way they meet the changing care needs of patients.

Miriam Deakin    Deputy Director of Policy and Strategy

"Lord Carter is right to highlight these challenges and we welcome support from the national bodies which will share learning and support further productivity gains.

"Ambulance services are working hard to reduce the number of unnecessary call-outs and treat people closer to home where appropriate. As well as investing in technology and new fleets, many ambulance services are using approaches such as 'hear and treat' to better understand a patient's needs before deciding whether to dispatch an ambulance. There has also been impressive progress in treating more patients at the scene and improving pathways for heart attacks and stroke.

Ambulance services are working hard to reduce the number of unnecessary call-outs and treat people closer to home where appropriate.

Miriam Deakin    Deputy Director of Policy and Strategy

 "We must recognise the role that ambulance services often play as the 'front door' for patients. To be able realise the levels of savings identified, we must address pressures in other parts of the health and care system. Reducing unnecessary trips to hospitals in ambulances could save money, but it will require investment in other areas, for example in primary care, mental health and community services or social care.

Reducing unnecessary trips to hospitals in ambulances could save money, but it will require investment in other areas, for example in primary care, mental health and community services or social care.

Miriam Deakin    Deputy Director of Policy and Strategy

"Underpinning this is a workforce at full stretch. Sickness levels across ambulance staff are some of the most severe. The significant shortage of paramedics is unsustainable and must be tackled if we are to address these pressures. We need to ensure staff feel valued and supported."

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