New referral staff to deal with urgent calls

Staff with patient on stretcher at accident and emergency

A new healthcare referral team (HCRT) is about to be launched to transport lower acuity 'urgent' patients.

Training for the first group of staff begins next week (28th July) and will involve learning anatomy and physiology, management of emergency situations and identifying the deteriorating patient. It will also look at communication and treating patients with dignity, care and compassion.

More than 100 staff will be recruited and trained and rotas will be designed around demand in each area. Many PTS staff who were recently affected by the loss of contracts in mid-Essex and Norfolk now have the opportunity to re-join, or stay with, the service and the pathway also provides an entry point into the organisation.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “HCRT is being rolled out regionally to assist PTS staff who wish to remain in the Trust, following the loss of PTS contracts to private providers. This is very personal to me, as I started out working on the mid-Essex PTS contract. I have great regard for the work carried out by our PTS staff and have been working closely with UNISON to try and retain as many staff as possible.

“Currently many of our urgent patients are transported by private providers, and bringing this work ‘in house’ will allow the Trust to reduce the spend on private providers significantly. HCRT is already used successfully in West Midlands and will give a greater degree of control. Our EOC processes are being looked at to ensure incidents are suitable for HCRT to attend, as the team will not be blue light trained but will be trained to treat low acuity patients.”

It is hoped the first HCRT staff will be on the road in September. It’s important that all staff are given the opportunity to progress into these roles. In time, HCRT staff will be able to work towards an NVQ2, which will allow them to apply for EMT or student paramedic roles.

More details about HRCT will be published soon on the Need to Know site.

Published 24th July 2014 

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