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New service launched by East Midlands Ambulance to cut waiting times

East Midlands Ambulance service have launced a new Urgent Care Transport Service (UCTS) across all areas of the East Midlands.

The service, which went live on the 3 April 2018, is designed to reduce delays for patients, and reduce the pressure faced by Emergency Operations Centre staff and ambulance crews.

The service say they have recruited 100 Urgent Care Assistants (UCA’s) to join the frontline, two urgent care dispatchers and one urgent care clinical advisor.

The service aims to provide transport to:

  • patients requiring urgent admissions to hospital, as determined by their general practitioner or healthcare professional (HCP)
  • patients requiring transport without the need for on-going ambulance treatment (eg emergency treatment), as identified by the service's Clinical Assessment Team or frontline A&E crews after assessment at the scene.

UCA’s have not been trained to drive on blue-lights, their focus is on lower priority and non-life threatening calls, meaning A&E ambulance crews can focus on 999 calls, reaching the most poorly patients quicker.

In March 2018 the average time for a four hour urgent transfer was 10 hours 43 minutes. Since UCTS the average wait in April reduced significantly to 4 hours 30 minutes and reduced further to four hours 10 minutes in October.

Since their implementation in April, UCA’s have transported over 14,500 patients to hospital.

Neil White, Transformational Delivery Manager said: “Our new Urgent Care Transport Service colleagues are an important, integral part of our accident and emergency service.

“We have already seen a positive benefit for patients with the average wait for admission reducing by half. The service has been embedded as part of our operating model and the addition of further Urgent Care Assistants means we can reach more patients allowing our frontline A&E crews to focus on our response to immediately life threatening 999 calls. Our new Urgent Care Transport Service colleagues are an important, integral part of our accident and emergency service.”

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