Latest figures show that the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)’s Rapid Response Vehicle clinicians resolve 16 per cent of incidents they attend at the scene, helping to minimise unnecessary trips to hospital and relieve pressure on other NHS services.
Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) are such a versatile resource they are sent out to nearly half (48 per cent) of incidents NWAS responds to. When every second counts, they are at the scene of an incident in an average of five minutes.
There are approximately 82 RRVs on shift at any one time in North West England; equating to a third of all NWAS’ resources. These emergency vehicles are parked strategically in busy locations around the region so they can reach patients as quickly as possible.
These statistics have been published as part of NWAS’ new #Team999 campaign, which aims to educate people about the different care options available if they ring 999 – for example, they may not necessarily be sent a traditional ambulance or be taken to hospital.
As part of the campaign, individual roles within NWAS are being profiled each month to give the public a greater insight into the service. Simon McCrory, an RRV paramedic with NWAS, is the second member of #Team999 to be profiled as part of the campaign.
Speaking about his role, Simon said:
“The nature of our vehicles and the locations in which we are placed, means we can get to a scene faster than an ambulance and assess the situation to determine the next best course of action. If an ambulance is required, our job is to provide vital, potentially lifesaving, care until it arrives.
“If it’s clear an ambulance is not necessary, we can refer patients to appropriate care in the local community or provide self-care advice so that they can stay at home. This alleviates strain on our precious resources and keeps emergency ambulances free to attend incidents where they are truly needed.”
The remaining #Team999 representatives will be profiled over the next four months, through Q&A sessions, social media takeovers, roadshows, short films and a range of other activities to further increase public awareness.
“Through the #Team999 campaign we are able to educate people about when to call the ambulance service and what to expect when they do.”