What we do

A central support unit for NHS ambulance services

An overview of what NARU does

In 2011, the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) was established as a central support unit for all UK ambulance services, to ensure the ambulance service as a whole can respond to a variety of hazardous and challenging incidents in the safest and most effective way possible.

Comprised of a group of highly experienced ambulance service professionals, NARU’s key role is to maintain and develop the high standards expected of the NHS ambulance service’s specialist interoperable capabilities so they are always high quality and always fit for purpose.

Maintaining contract standards, ensuring safe systems of work, training and equipping specialist operational staff from each service so that they have the right tools, knowledge and attitude to be able to enter challenging and hazardous situations with the confidence and ability to save lives (while mitigating the risks to their own safety) is key to NARU’s work.

Accordingly, NARU works closely with a range of stakeholders to support the national development of EPRR related policy.

NARU also supports the development and training of command and control staff for the whole ambulance service. These commanders play vital roles in mass casualty major incidents.

NARU has a specialist Education Centre (based just outside Salisbury, UK) which provides world-class training to hundreds of specialist ambulance staff each year including every member of regional Hazardous Area Response Teams (HARTs).

NARU also has a Capabilities team that searches for the best kit and equipment on the market, rigorously testing each item before specifying for national supply. It also oversees the provision of additional support for pre-planned and spontaneous incidents for all ambulance trusts.

A highly experienced NARU Medical Advisor provides specialist medical input to the work of the whole team, linking in with the national ambulance service medical director’s group (NASMeD).

NARU also has a dedicated Quality and Improvement team that develops and improves national standards for use by all ambulance services. The fundamental aim is to keep specialist responders safe whilst taking calculated risks to improve the clinical outcomes of patients caught within dangerous environments. National standards ensure the specialist capabilities remain consistent enough to operate safely as part of a combined response to national emergencies.

NARU develops and produces a broad range of training aids and operational publications (for example National Major Incident Action Cards) which are used daily by thousands of ambulance staff.

Additionally, NARU coordinates and develops a number of central resources designed to help all ambulance trusts to share best practice and learn from each other. NARU’s bespoke PROCLUS system leads the way in helping identify lessons learned from every day responses to challenging events by Hazardous Area Response Teams (HARTs) from every ambulance service in the country.

It also provides a central informatics platform for use by all ambulance trusts. View the slideshow here.