Over 300 patients have already been treated at home, rather than being taken to hospital in an ambulance, thanks to new teams which started working together in three Urgent Community Response Cars in October 2022.
Paramedics at London Ambulance Service are paired with nurses from community health providers and are responding to elderly and frail patients in a pilot scheme to prevent delays this winter. The cars run from 8am to 8pm every day and London Ambulance Service and community partners are developing plans to expand the scheme across the capital
Paramedic Michael Budd said: “A fall can result in an injury that can be painful but also stressful if the patient doesn’t want or need to go to hospital. By combining the skillsets of an emergency paramedic and a community nurse, we can tailor our assessment, treatment and follow-up plans meaning many of these patients can be really well cared for at home.
“Our patients are getting a quick and effective response while we are building strong relationships with our community partners, learning from each other and sharing clinical perspectives and experiences.”
Working with London Ambulance Service and using the combined paramedic and nursing skills means that we can assess and treat patients who do not need to go to hospital.”Sandra Brandon, Lead Nurse Practitioner at Your Healthcare
As well as responding to fallers, the teams also help elderly people with minor wounds, injuries and infections and catheter problems, as well as those needing palliative or end of life care.
The nurses recruited to the scheme already work in the community and are familiar with local health and social services which means they can refer patients for longer term help.
Sandra Brandon, Lead Nurse Practitioner at Your Healthcare, which delivers health and social care services in Kingston and Richmond, said: “We already support frail and vulnerable patients in the community through our nursing and urgent response services.
“However, working with London Ambulance Service and using the combined paramedic and nursing skills means that we can assess and treat patients who do not need to go to hospital.
“We can also refer patients to other community services such as occupational therapy or arrange a follow up visit as necessary.”