NEAS is looking to improve the care and transportation of patients that are booked by health care professionals (HCP).
Most HCPs will refer a patient to hospital on an infrequent basis and trying to remember the different crews and ambulance responses available can be challenging.
Most will book a one hour response no matter how unwell the patient is and the response requested often has no relationship to the arrival time, which leads to patient dissatisfaction and often results in repeat calls to the HCP or NEAS.
To tackle this challenge, medical director Mathew Beattie is revamping the process to improve the patient’s experience of our services and align our response to the national Ambulance Response Programme, so that we offer a consistent service to patients, whether they are referred by a HCP or call 999.
Mathew Beattie explains: “The improvements will mean that we capture the right information at the time of booking so that we can identify sick patients, manage expectations, send the most appropriate resource and monitor the impact.
“When a healthcare professional decides their patient urgently needs to be transferred to or between hospitals, having the right information at the point of booking can have a significant impact on meeting patient needs and expectations and help to alleviate pressures on emergency healthcare services at peak times.
“Having more information about a patient’s symptoms will allow us to ensure that the right type of vehicle and level of skilled staff NEAS is deployed and that patients can be prioritised based on their medical need. And at times of pressure this will ensure that we send resources to those patients who need them most, quickest.
“HCPs will now be asked if an intervention is required en-route to identify which crew types would be best suited to safely transport the patient.
“Where an intervention is required, the caller will be asked for the physiological parameters (respiratory rate, oxygen saturations, temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and level of consciousness) - these will be used to help prioritise response.
“And non-intervention calls will now be considered for alternate transport to free up crews for higher acuity cases and get lower acuity and ambulatory care patients into hospital earlier.”