Urgent referral team goes live helping patients and hospitals alike

Staff at the Trust's Gravelly Hill base before they set off earlier today

Today saw the return of a service that will help some of the sickest patients get to hospital on time while helping the 999 service get to patients even more quickly.

After weeks of planning and hard work from numerous departments within West Midlands Ambulance Service, the new Patient Transfer Service Urgent Referral Tier has returned for the winter months. Tactical Commander, James Williams, said:

“Last winter was one of the most challenging we have ever faced. One of the ways we helped ensure ambulance crews got to 999 calls quickly was to launch the Urgent Referral Tier.
"The crews are made up on one member of our non-emergency patient transport service and a clinician, usually a paramedic. Together they transport patients who have already been assessed by a clinician, often a GP, who has decided they require attendance at hospital. 

"Equally, they will help the hospitals by taking patients home once they have been discharged. By getting these crews to do the transfer, it means our frontline ambulances can concentrate on the 999 calls."
During the winter months, 12 crews will operate the service from Coventry, Dudley, Frankley, Gravelly Hill and Wolverhampton, solely attending urgent removal cases. These staff will play a vital role in helping to reduce the pressure on A&E Departments and our frontline ambulances.


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