Getting the NACC – NARU support on centre stage

Between March and May 2020 NARU staff spent 1,478 hours in the National Ambulance Coordination Centre (NACC), managing the national ambulance service COVID-19 cell and coordinating large-scale emergencies that needed ambulance resources coordinating on a national basis.

The NACC is based at West Midlands Ambulance Service headquarters in Brierley Hill, Dudley, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It resembles a control room but includes plenty of useful tools that enable staff seated there to track and plan ambulance resources and assets to ensure they fulfil specialist missions (for example monitoring a coach filled with patients who arrived at Heathrow Airport from China with suspected COVID-19 symptoms) and to ensure that mutual aid (for example, between neighbouring ambulance services) works smoothly in the event it is required.

Says NARU Director Keith Prior:

We can see every HART deployment live as it happens and keep track of every response using any of the interoperable capabilities at any given time.

This is especially important for large-scale incidents or events where trouble is likely and patients are at risk. NARU plays a key role in the NACC and has a direct link to colleagues in other emergency services and at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

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