Ambulance pilot aiming to ease the pressure on A&E

The pilot scheme is operating in north Wales Credit: ITV Wales

The Welsh Ambulance Service says it is already seeing positive results from a pilot scheme it is running in north Wales.

The project, which uses Advanced Paramedic Practitioners (APPs) to deliver care closer to people's homes, is designed to reduce the number of admissions to emergency departments.

So far around 70% of patients seen by APPs have not required a trip to A&E.

ITV Wales health reporter James Crichton-Smith spent time with the team to see the pilot scheme in action.

The pilot launched at the end of 2017 with 10-strong team of advanced paramedics operating on a rota basis.

APPs respond to calls in rapid response vehicles - focusing primarily on non-life-threatening calls. Another member of the APP team works in the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Llanfairfechan to ensure the appropriate calls are assigned to the paramedic on the ground.

If a red - life threatening - call comes in however, the APP can respond if they are the closest resource available.

The aim is that it will result in better outcomes for patients in North Wales by making sure they receive the most appropriate care for their needs.

In many cases it will mean they won’t necessarily be taken to hospital, but might have an improved care plan put in place which allows them to stay at home instead.

– Andy Swinburn, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Assistant Director of Paramedicine

The pilot will run until 31 March 2018.

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