Digital Transformation – Welsh Ambulance Services

Published: 6th July 2021
By harnessing new technology, the Welsh Ambulance Service has attracted a lot of positive international press coverage. This article explains how this highly regarded organisation is utilising Consultant Connect as part of its wider digital strategy.
Digital Transformation – Welsh Ambulance Services - Consultant Connect

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) has undergone significant change in the last couple of years and today every aspect of their service is supported by technology.

Chief Executive Jason Killens said:

“We’ve had long-held ambitions to make progress within the digital arena, and the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for some of this work, which has been a silver lining through a really tough period. Now it’s about building on this work and making things even more streamlined for our staff, volunteers and most importantly, our patients.”

The Consultant Connect service was introduced to WAST in May 2020 and supports paramedics to rapidly access Advice and Guidance from specialists and streaming lines.

“It provides easier access for us to communicate with receiving hospitals / treatment centres. All of my contacts for patient pathways along with receiving hospitals and specialist centres are located in one place at the touch of a button. The connection rate to the contact is extremely fast. This has been really helpful as the procedures have regularly changed throughout different stages of the pandemic.” Sion Breese, WAST Paramedic

Performance to date*

  • Calls since launch – 18,883
  • Average first time connection rate – 89%
  • Average connection time of – 8 seconds

*Data correct as of 4th July 2021

How the service works

WAST staff are a very mobile workforce and move across multiple Health Board footprints, so the service needed to work consistently across all of them. The Consultant Connect service:

  • Is available across 7 Health Board areas.
  • Consolidates WAST’s most frequently used telephone lines into the IG secure Consultant Connect App. These include Pre-Alerts, Clinical advice, Referrals – both pan-Wales and HB area specific. By pre-programming these access numbers into the app, WAST staff no longer needed to save individual numbers into their phones or keep paper versions of telephone directory of services within their vehicles.
  • Provides data reports to the WAST senior team so that they can monitor the usage of lines, meaning they can identify lines that are very popular, spot any day-to-day or repeat issues that arise, and address these quickly, supported by the respective Clinical Leads. This helps maintain very high connection rates.

Consultant Connect works in partnership with both the WAST communications team and the Clinical Leads to keep WAST staff regularly engaged and aware of the service. The communication channels include webinars, posters and bespoke literature.

We interviewed Sion Breese, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust Paramedic and Development Clinical Team Leader, recently to find out more about his experience of using Consultant Connect App – read the short interview.

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