Technology and innovation hold the key to future performance of NHS ambulance services, says AACE

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has welcomed Lord Carter’s report on ambulance service productivity (published 27th September 2018 by NHS Improvement) agreeing with its emphasis on technology and innovation as the key driver for improved future performance of NHS ambulance services.

AACE Managing Director Martin Flaherty OBE says:

“We welcome Lord Carter’s report, which highlights how ambulance staff continue to work extremely hard to provide excellent patient care at the front line of the NHS despite rising demand and pressures elsewhere in the system that are often beyond the ambulance service’s control.

We also note his confirmation that during last winter, delays at busy hospitals cost the ambulance service £50m. This still remains our biggest issue and resolving this will add the greatest increase in capacity for ambulance services this winter.”

The ambulance service has been working very closely with NHS Improvement in recent months to identify areas where ambulance trusts could make even more impact on patient care, particularly through reducing the frequency with which patients are taken to hospital when they might safely be treated more clinically appropriately elsewhere.

Technology and innovation – such as the introduction of digital ambulances with greater access to patient data and connectivity with other NHS services – will be crucial to reducing conveyance rates.

Added Mr Flaherty:

“We are also pleased that Lord Carter recognises the need for the wider NHS Infrastructure to continue to improve to enable ambulance staff to have more opportunities to treat and refer patients safely rather than take them to an Emergency Department.

It is clear that the current lack of clinically suitable referral pathways in some areas contributes to the differences in the percentage of patients being transferred to hospitals.”



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