December 5, 2018 11.28 am This story is over 36 months old

New urgent care dispatch frees up ambulances

Getting ambulances to emergencies quicker

A new Urgent Care Transport Service (UCTS) has helped free Lincolnshire ambulances to more than 2,500 other life-threatening calls.

The EMAS service, which went live in April, has significantly reduced waiting for patients. In March 2018 the average time for a four hour urgent transfer was 10 hours, 43 minutes. This reduced to four hours, 10 minutes in October.

EMAS has recruited 100 Urgent Care Assistants (UCA’s), two urgent care dispatchers and one urgent care clinical advisor in its Nottingham Emergency Operations Centre.

On average there are 5-7 jobs per crew per day with 25 UCAs in Lincolnshire.

The UCAs have not been trained to drive on blue-lights, with their focus on low priority and non-life threatening calls. This means the A&E ambulance crews can focus on 999 calls, reaching the most poorly patients quicker.

Dispatcher Colette Storr and UCA Hannah Craig. Photo: EMAS

How does it work?

It provides transport to patients requiring urgent admissions to hospital as determined by their GP or healthcare practitioner.

It also includes patients requiring transport without the need for on-going ambulance treatment (eg emergency treatment) as identified by EMAS’ Clinical Assessment Team or frontline A&E crews after assessment at the scene.

Lincolnshire crews have so far done 2,599 transfers to hospital.

UCAs based at Grimsby Station. Photo: EMAS


Transformational Delivery Manager Neil White said: “Our new Urgent Care Transport Service colleagues are an important, integral part of our accident and emergency service.

“We have already seen a positive benefit for patients with the average wait for admission reducing by half. The service has been embedded as part of our operating model and the addition of further Urgent Care Assistants means we can reach more patients allowing our frontline A&E crews to focus on our response to immediately life threatening 999 calls.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.