Improving the Ambulance Response: Moving from a focus on 8 minutes to improving outcomes for patients through a clinically appropriate response
Monday 22 May 2017
De Vere West One, London
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“NHS England established the Ambulance Response Programme, which aims to improve response times to critically ill patients and to make sure that the most appropriate resource is provided to each patient first time. NHS England plans to publish a report summarising the findings of this programme in spring 2017. Ambulance trusts stressed the importance of moving quickly to implement any potential changes arising from the programme, in the light of increasing demand.” National Audit Office, January 2017
“The Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) aims to improve response times to critically ill patients. It will make sure that the best, high quality, most appropriate response is provided for each patient first time.” NHS England 2016
“The Ambulance Response Programme’s (ARP) Expert Clinical Reference Group unanimously recommends the extension of the Dispatch on Disposition pilot to all Ambulance Trusts. This is also supported by the ambulance services, clinicians and independent expert analysis, demonstrating a methodology and evidence base upon which to build further improvements…. The additional call triage time has not led to a detrimental effect on patient safety or patient care, nor the time between a 999 call being made and a resource arriving on scene for the most serious (Red) calls…. the Ambulance Response Programme Expert Reference Group recommend extending the pilot of Dispatch on Disposition to all ambulance services in England as soon as is feasible. In practical terms this can be achieved within 8 weeks of approval to proceed. The control site staff and managers have expressed a will and readiness to extend DoD as ‘the right thing to do’.” Professor Keith Willett Professor & Jonathan Benger Medical Director, Acute Care National Clinical Director for Urgent Care, NHS England letter to Philip Dunne MP, Minister of State for Care and Support July 2016
In July 2016 the National Ambulance Response Programme recommended extending the pilot of Dispatch on Disposition to all ambulance services in England as soon as possible. With a keynote address from Professor Keith Willett Medical Director, Acute Care NHS England this conference focuses on improving the Ambulance Response; Moving from a focus on 8 minutes to improving outcomes for patients through a clinically appropriate response, including implementing Dispatch on Disposition in practice.
“We need to get the right resource to the right patients – an appropriate vehicle with a skilled paramedic to the patients that need it in at timely manner…Of particular importance is the need to ensure that the ways in which ambulance services are managed and measured reflect the needs of a 21st century population, and are focused on clinical priorities, rather than response times alone…“We have a tendency to send ambulances to patients when we don’t actually know if they need an ambulance or not – we also send multiple vehicles to the same call – there are also other things that start to happen due to the 8 minute response – such as sending an fast response unit to stop the clock – and because we are only measuring half the calls the green calls may have very long waits for an ambulance response. These kinds of behaviours are inefficient but in some ways are a logical response to current measurement – we are loosing sight of the reason for the service, improving outcomes for patents” Prof Jonathan Benger National Clinical Director for Urgent Care, NHS England Professor of Emergency Care, University of the West of England, Bristol Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, January 2016
This conference looks at how we can improve the ambulance response – moving away from time based targets – and towards a new way of working, ensuring a clinical appropriate response that will improve outcomes for patients. Through national updates from the National Ambulance Response Programme, to case studies and lessons from the dispatch on disposition pilot sites the conference will update delegates on this important development and the impact in practice. The conference will also look at implications of working differently in terms of workforce, paramedic training, challenging public assumptions around ambulance responses, and looking to the future and implications for both Ambulance Trusts and independent Ambulance Services .