More ambulances back in community quicker thanks to winter scheme


Patient safety intervention teams (PSIT) reduced time ambulances spent at hospitals by more than 4,500 hours during the winter period.

The project, which started in early December, resulted in more than 3,500 patients receiving a more timely response owing to the cohorting of PSIT.

The PSIT was implemented in five key locations in the Trust to respond at the request of the tactical commanders to acute hospitals that were delaying ambulances after all other escalation processes had failed.

Matt Broad, Deputy Director of Service Delivery, said: “This project was only truly successful due to the working relationships built between PSIT, operational crews and the receiving acute hospitals.

“Handover delays were referred to as being the single biggest risk within the NHS in November last year and PSIT was developed in response to this locally. It was a tactic we deployed to tackle the increasing hospital handover delays that we have seen impacting ambulances in our region, which was resulting in patients in the community dialling 999 but us not having an ambulance available to send.

“It’s been a challenging winter and we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to each of you for the support you have shown the project and helping support the safety of the patients on our communities.”

During the run of the scheme, PSIT was also used more than 160 times, where delays were not necessarily excessive, to support faster handovers, for example at the end of shift to reduce late finishes and get staff #HomeOnTime.

The scheme reaches its planned end on Saturday (March 31), however, the equipment and vehicles will remain available through the Easter period at several locations throughout EEAST to be deployed in exceptional circumstances.

The PSIT resources will not be staffed and as such may require the support of frontline resources be utilised. They will be deployed as a tactical action taken by the tactical commander, available for the support of DLO and HALOs.

Matt added: “This does not take away the continued joint working between local managers and the receiving hospitals, which continues to focus on supporting these handovers to release ambulance resources and to reduce late finishes linked with handover delays. Your continued support with the new handover process is vital to ensure escalation and notification of issues you encounter can be dealt with swiftly.”

A full review of the project will be undertaken including strategic discussions to consider any future deployment of the scheme. Any feedback would be welcome and can be sent to

Published 29th March, 2018

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