RAPID response vehicle clinicians in the region are helping to relieve pressure on other NHS services, figures show.
Analysis of statistics of the year ending in March, 2013, reveals that the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)’s team of clinicians resolve 16 per cent of incidents they attend at the scene, helping to minimise unnecessary trips to hospital and take the strain off A&E services at hospitals such as the Countess of Chester.
There are about 82 rapid response vehicles (RRVs) on shift at any one time in the North West, equating to a third of all NWAS’ resources, with the vehicles parked strategically in busy locations around the region so they can reach patients as quickly as possible.
The statistics have been published as part of NWAS’ new #Team999 campaign, which aims to educate people about the different care options available if they call 999.
Simon McCrory, RRV clinician, said: “The nature of our vehicles and the locations in which we are placed means we can get to a scene faster than an ambulance and assess the situation to determine the next best course of action. If an ambulance is required, our job is to provide vital, potentially life-saving, care until it arrives.
“If it’s clear an ambulance is not necessary, we can refer patients to appropriate care in the local community or provide self-care advice so that they can stay at home.
“This alleviates strain on our precious resources and keeps emergency ambulances free to attend incidents where they are truly needed.”