Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS launch initiative to support A&E

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System has announced the launch of a new scheme aimed at mitigating long wait times for A&E patients.

The collaboration between clinical specialists and ambulance team members is designed to support local patients to get the best care for their health concerns by linking them with wider health services and resources. Under the new initiative, ambulance crews call a dedicated helpline when visiting an individual who they believe may not get the most benefit out of a visit to A&E. Through the helpline, clinicians and ambulance workers can work together to get people to the right service, such as specific hospital departments, an Urgent Treatment Centre, or community care.

In the first six weeks of the scheme, it has been estimated that 60 percent of unnecessary A&E visits have been avoided as locals were directed to “alternative services better suited for their needs”.

As well as providing a better care experience for the local community, the ICS state that the initiative has also “freed up valuable time for ambulance crews to attend to life threatening cases such as stroke, heart attacks other major trauma.”

Dr Vaz Ahmed, Clinical Lead for Urgent & Emergency Care for the ICS said of the scheme: “By supporting our local people to get the right care at the right time the teams involved in Call Before You Convey are helping to reduce pressures on A&E services as we head into the colder months. This will free up our urgent care teams in hospitals to look after those people who need their care most.”

Adam Gimson, Advanced Paramedic at the East of England Ambulance Service, noted that the scheme supports ambulance staff by “[enabling] you to bypass the emergency department and long waits to offload your patient. Knowing that calling also aids with the patient’s pathway through hospital is useful as the clinician will notify relevant specialists.”