Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue (LFR) and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) have secured £491k from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Transformation Challenge Award fund to develop a pilot project aimed at improving the quality of service and outcomes for patients in Lincolnshire through the development of an innovative and complementary approach to ambulance provision in the County. The project is called the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project (JACP).
How does it work?
The JACP builds on LFR’s existing co-responder scheme, run in partnership with EMAS and Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES), in which on-call retained firefighters from 21 stations already respond to medical emergencies, delivering first aid, providing oxygen therapy and administering defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The JACP involves some co-responders being mobilised to medical incidents in an ambulance vehicle. At the same time, an EMAS paramedic also responds to the incident in a fast response car. The paramedic assesses if the patient needs to go to hospital and, if so, travels with the patient in the ambulance providing any necessary treatment en route. The main difference between current practice and the JACP is that LFR staff have the capability of conveying a patient to hospital rather than having to wait at the scene until an EMAS ambulance arrives.
This collaborative approach aims to support more timely patient conveyance whilst ensuring the highest level of clinical intervention possible, therefore supporting better recovery and improved chances of survival for patients. It will also look to deliver more effective and value for money services in the future.
What are the benefits of this pilot project?
- An additional safe alternative to conveying patients to hospital providing more timely treatment commencement, supporting better recovery and improving chances of survival.
- Reduced times on scene for firefighters and EMAS solo responders as they will not be dependent on support from an EMAS dual crewed ambulance to convey patients.
- The ability to meet the growing demand for life-threatening 999 response calls in a faster, safer, more cost effective manner.
- Building on the existing fire and rescue co-responder scheme by utilising an already trained just-in-time resource will help realise potential efficiencies.
- Any enhancement of co-responder medical skills will benefit firefighters in their wider role. This would be particularly relevant in the delivery of patient care at Road Traffic Collisions where firefighters are often the first on scene.
- An extension of the excellent partnership working ethos already in place between LFR and EMAS
Where is the pilot taking place?
The pilot has commenced and is being run from Long Sutton, Stamford and Woodhall Spa fire stations. These locations were selected as the retained firefighters at these stations already co-respond, they indicated their availability to undertake the pilot and the locations support EMAS’ priorities. The pilot will run until September 2015. This will allow the concept to be fully tested and a robust evaluation undertaken. On completion of the pilot, the outcomes will be assessed and, following further consultation, a decision taken on whether the scheme should be continued and expanded to other areas of the County.
Prior to the start of the pilot, LFR undertook a consultation to seek the views of local residents. This included an open evening in the three pilot areas where residents could ask questions about the pilot, meet local firefighter co-responders and EMAS medical practitioners, and find out more about the project.
The consultation has now closed and we would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation.
Responses to the consultation were very supportive with 92% of respondents feeling very or reasonably positive about the proposed pilot. Further detail about the consultation response is available in the document JACP Consultation Report below.