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Trust stands down service which achieved ‘marked improvement’ in A&E handover delays

An acute trust has had to stand down a new service which led to a ‘marked improvement’ in ambulance handover times, due to a lack of permanent funding to support it.

In recent months, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has deployed additional staff to receive and care for patients arriving by ambulance, meaning ambulance crews could be released more quickly.

A report to the trust board last month said of the scheme: “Data shows a marked improvement in ambulance release times when deployed.”

However, it would cost £1m per year to fully implement the service and the report said commissioners had confirmed there is “no external funding to support this cost”.

There have been mounting concerns in recent months over the handover delays experienced by paramedics when taking patients to hospital, which have severely affected their response times for new incidents.

In a statement, the trust said it was discussing with system partners how the service, which was introduced on a “short-term basis”, could be supported in future. It was delivered by independent ambulance and healthcare provider CIPHER Medical and used at peak times such as bank holiday weekends.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 6 July 2022


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