Reducing pressure on ambulance services is one of the NHS national priorities. Whilst this exposes a particular challenge for high acuity cases, there are ways to reduce pressure on the service overall by offering paramedics help with lower acuity cases.
Consultant Connect runs a network of GPs and consultants that are available to take calls from paramedics. Paramedics are put through to GPs in seconds and are able to discuss the best care plan for the patient before deciding if a conveyance to a hospital is necessary. This model is proven, for example with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), to reduce the number of patients with lower acuity to be required to go to hospital. SCAS 999 Clinical Support Desk and Operational teams can access immediate advice from a team of experienced GPs and specialist consultants across 6 specialties:
To date, 80% of calls to GPs have resulted in a decision to treat the patient outside of a hospital.
We currently have the capacity to add additional ambulance crews to our service. This service is available at short notice and can be set up within a week and on a switch on/switch off basis as needed. The following examples show how SCAS and three other Ambulance services are using Consultant Connect to meet their bespoke local needs.
*Data correct: January 2022
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