Our Red 1 performance progress: a message from Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery

Kevin Brown director of service delivery

Performance is portrayed in different forums and means different things to different people.

As a Trust we are not commissioned to deliver the national target of 75% and this of course becomes a constant challenge when the media portrays not achieving this as failure. Indeed, no one across the country is or has been consistently doing so.

I am immensely proud that we have improved significantly, consistently and sustainably despite a significant increase in Red 1 demand over the last year. In the last quarter of the year we were commissioned to achieve 68.5%, and we delivered more than 70%.   What does this mean for patients? More patients got a faster response than ever before and that means more lives can potentially be saved.

This is a brilliant achievement and it’s down to a full team approach. This includes everyone out there working hard every day, offering up knowing you will be late; our EOC teams who swoop like hawks when the Red 1 alarm activates in the rooms; our co-responders, community first responders, operational and clinical managers who often support out of hours to help our patients; other colleagues who are clinically trained working in support services; and support services themselves, who have worked to keep everything else running smoothly in the background so that our patient-facing teams can do what they do. Everyone who has been able to support improving our response to our sickest patients has done so without fuss, which is a great reflection on our attitude and approach to care.

Your contribution means that we have shifted our position nationally from one of the lowest performing trusts to one of the highest - and that is an exceptional shift in just one year.

Our focus to be better, even the best, for our patients will see us make two new changes this month. This week, we will be releasing a revised general broadcasts instruction. We will now general broadcast every Red 1 call to alert anyone in the near vicinity that there is a life-threatening emergency, to which people can respond via the priority button. This is in case they are near and able to support, even if someone is already running. This change follows your feedback that someone close to greening up in a nearby street, or travelling through an area for example, could potentially get there first and start providing care like CPR. It was a scenario I witnessed first-hand at the weekend, where I was able to get to a cyclist in cardiac arrest very quickly whilst you, the experts, responded and coordinated all the excellent trauma support needed. It was also a fine example of the passing community pulling together and providing CPR pre-arrival.

The second is automatic dispatch of Red 1 calls, which we’re hoping to trial later this month. This means the CAD will pick the nearest available on-duty responder or ambulance, manager and dispatch them to the call as it’s coded. We’re currently testing this in the background of the system, following other trusts that have used this and reported marked improvements. We do not have any current plans to extend this beyond Red 1 calls.

Patient care is central to what we do. Moving ahead, we will continue to ask clinical managers to support the cause and be available to respond to Red 1 calls. Not only is this right for patients, but a consistent hands on approach generates greater trust in working relationships.

Thanks again to you all over the last year and especially the last few months, for your hard work and dedication to our patients.

As a final note, this week I had the pleasure of visiting a patient that I successfully resuscitated whilst responding. He is looking and doing really well. I’m sure that the patient-facing among you will agree that it always makes the job worth it to see how well a patient is doing on their road to recovery.

Have a good week,


Published April 6th, 2017

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