Ambulance Response Programme update

Ambulance PE report

ARP: the Programme Board perspective and next steps

Thank you again to everyone who has been talking to their teams and leaders about the NHS England Ambulance Response Programme new operating model.

This is the single biggest change in how ambulance services operate in years, and as you should expect there is significant background work taking place to prepare for this change. We have a Programme Board, with five key work streams around clinical workforce, communications, Information management and technology, emergency operations centres and operations. At this time, we are processing the vast amount of information needed to ensure that when we move over the benefits for patients are realised. We also will need to factor in what the independent service review says and how we are funded going forward. 

Kevin Brown, Directory of Service Delivery and Programme Board Chair, said: “The programme is complex and has many interdependencies and we don’t have all of the answers to all of the questions right now, but will be providing regular updates to all staff to keep you informed.

"This week we were able to confirm the necessary quality indicator changes to inform background CAD change and reporting work and secure our planned date to go live in the early hours of 18th October, subject to testing. Go live is the start of a number of changes that will occur over the coming months and beyond and NHS England is keen we move to this model of working before winter sets in and allow some time for adjustments to be made.

“The current Red and Green categories go and are replaced with four new categories which are explained here. This model has a more ambulance centric model to RRV ratio than at present. We will still consider single responders to life threatening calls and some low acuity patients where safe discharge from scene is likely.  

“In recent months, we have regularly been communicating with you about the NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement (NHSI) jointly-commissioned Independent Service Review (ISR) of EEAST which is looking at the capacity we need to support demand, how to reduce demand on EEAST, the pricing of our activity, the best contract model we should have with our commissioners and the overall commissioning model for a large regional ambulance service. If one of the outcomes of the ISR is that new investment in staffing is required, then both the ISR and ARP will of course mean we need to make changes in the future to rosters to accommodate any additional staffing and changes to our operating model. This of course will be timed and scaled according to having more staff in place against modelled levels of demand. This will not be an immediate matter in general, but in the shorter term it may affect some staff currently working on RRVs.  

“In light of the awaited ISR findings, the ARP Programme Board agreed this week to put a temporary pause on transfers whilst we fully understand the impacts of the modelling being undertaken independently by NHSE and NHSI. It is important that we don’t move someone on a transfer only to change this shortly afterwards.”

Your managers will be required to schedule briefings to talk about upcoming changes, so don’t forget to join. A set of introductory FAQs has been published on East24 here

or email questions to

Published 8th September, 2017


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