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Improving the Ambulance Response: Meeting the New Ambulance Service Standards

Monday 22 January 2018
De Vere West One, London

Improving the Ambulance Response: Meeting the New Ambulance Service Standards

This event has now past, but there may well be news on the event including presentations and quotes from the day at our News pages here, a full list of our forthcoming events is available here.

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“Ambulance trusts have now moved into the critical delivery phase of programme…“The new targets will remove “hidden” and long waits suffered by millions of patients, including reducing lengthy waits for the frail and elderly…The redesigned system will focus on ensuring patients get rapid life-changing care for conditions such as stroke rather than simply “stopping the clock”” Professor Jonathan Benger, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Urgent Care

On 13th July 2017 NHS England announced a new set of performance targets for the ambulance service which will apply to all 999 calls for the first time, learning from the National Ambulance Response Programme. The new targets include: 

  • National response targets to apply to every single 999 patient for the first time
  • Faster treatment for those needing it to save 250 lives a year
  • An end to “hidden waits” for millions of patients
  • Up to 750,000 more calls a year to get an immediate response
  • New standards to drive improved care for stroke and heart attack
  • World’s largest clinical ambulance trial updates decades-old system

“Call handlers will change the way they assess cases and will have slightly more time to decide the most appropriate clinical response…The redesigned system will focus on ensuring patients get rapid life-changing care for conditions such as stroke rather than simply “stopping the clock”… Ambulances will now be expected to reach the most seriously ill patients in an average time of seven minutes. The ‘clock’ will only stop when the most appropriate response arrives on scene, rather than the first.” NHS England July 2017

This conference focuses on improving the ambulance response and meeting the new targets in practice, changing the focus from ‘8 minutes’ to improving outcomes for patients through a clinically appropriate response. Through national updates and practical case studies from the National Ambulance Response Programme the event will support you to improve responses and patient care in your service.  

“Patients across the country deserve to benefit from the significant improvements seen in the trial areas, from ambulances reaching cardiac arrests in London 30 seconds faster to the one minute improvement on stroke responses in the West Midlands. These changes, together with ambitious new clinical standards for heart attack and stroke patients, will end the culture of ‘hitting the target but missing the point.’ They will refocus the service on what actually counts: outcomes for patients.” Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director NHS England 13 July 2017

“Our core priority will always be patient safety, but paramedics are rightly frustrated that under the current ‘stop the clock’ system they are frequently dispatched to simply hit targets. This has led to the inefficient use of ambulances, with the knock-on effect of ‘hidden waits’.This is not about relaxing standards but updating a decades old system to respond to modern needs. In most 999 calls we know the best clinical outcome for patients is not about the fastest response by the nearest vehicle, but the most appropriate one. These are changes which have been called for by paramedics, and the evidence shows that they will save lives. Independent researchers from Sheffield University studying the pilot sites have shown patient care has been maintained with no safety concerns or adverse patient outcomes identified. Elements of the new ambulance programme are already being trialled within England’s ten ambulance trusts, and will now be introduced as a permanent change during Autumn this year.” Professor Keith Willett, Medical Director for Acute Care, NHS England, 13th July 2017

Good Governance InstituteJournal of Paramedic Practice
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