Nurse practitioner trial given thumbs up

A trial that has seen advanced nurse practitioners working in ambulance control is bringing real benefits to patients.

The programme, run by the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team from NHS Improvement, has seen advanced nurse practitioners from Royal Wolverhampton Trust working with Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedics to try and find alternative pathways to treatment rather than having them taken directly to A&E. Strategic Operations Cell Commander, Martyn Pugh, said:

“We have already seen a significant number of additional patients diverted away from being taken to A&E by ambulance. This could be by referring them to other healthcare staff such as district nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and access to social care support.

“What this new programme brings is the chance for the paramedics at the scene to talk to the advanced nurse practitioners who have specialisms in community health care, ranging from long term conditions, infections, respiratory and cardiac conditions.

“What we are finding is that many of these patients already receive care from the community health services and the advanced nurse practitioners are able to do access those details which allows the most appropriate support to be given."

Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedic, Scott Harris added:

“There is no question that everyone benefits: many more patients are treated at home; it means ambulances are available more quickly to respond to the next call/

"It reduces the pressure on the hospital A&E Departments and community health services can continue with their care plans for these patients.”

At this stage the pilot is being used as a proof of concept. Once the feedback from the project has been analysed, it is hoped that changes could be introduced more widely that would allow closer working between ambulance staff and community health care services.


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