The National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) has welcomed the NHS England report today (Wednesday 13 November 2013) on the first phase of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review, and has underlined the need for innovative approaches to the proposed new roles for ambulance services the report calls for.
The report, produced by the National Medical Director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, proposes a transformation over the next three to five years of the way urgent and emergency care is delivered.
NARU Director Keith Prior said:
“NARU welcomes this report which could be the starting point for so many new developments in the ambulance service, all to benefit patients. Ambulance services have traditionally been quick to adapt to new innovations and new ways of working, and the vision for ambulance services outlined in Sir Bruce’s report will require us to be even more innovative in the future.
In recent years the emergency preparedness arm of the ambulance service has been especially active in developing and implementing innovative new capabilities for dealing with unusual and challenging incidents – such as the introduction of Hazardous Area Response Teams. NARU continues to support the training and equipping of these personnel and I believe we can learn lessons from this work going forwards, and during the development of the new roles that Sir Bruce’s report calls for.”
The report calls for the development of 999 ambulance services so that they become mobile urgent treatment services, noting that paramedics now have the skills and equipment to deliver treatments that would only have been done by doctors 10 years ago. The report further highlights that by working closely with improved community services, ambulance staff can safely manage many more patients at scene by either treating them in their own home or referring them on to other appropriate community based services.
The report adds that there are also opportunities for extending the training of paramedics to allow them to assess, prescribe for and manage patients with exacerbations of chronic illnesses, working more closely with GPs and other community health services.
The report also suggests significant changes to A&E departments, with two new levels of emergency centres introduced. There will be between 40-70 designated “Major Emergency Centres” designated to deal with heart attacks, strokes and other serious illness and injury, which would be supported by a wider network of “Emergency Centres”, similar to most current provincial A&E departments, able to stabilise and initiate treatment for all serious cases, and transfer patients for higher-level care at emergency units.
To read the full NHS England press release about this report click here.