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Half of ambulance arrivals ‘inappropriate’, says acute trust

An audit conducted by an acute trust has found more than half the patients taken to one of its hospitals by ambulance were deemed “inappropriate for conveyance”.

The assessment at Scarborough Hospital in Yorkshire, obtained by HSJ through a freedom of information request, examined a random sample of 100 patients, of which around 50 arrived by ambulance.

Of those arriving by ambulance, half were deemed not to have required an ambulance conveyance. 

The Missed Opportunities Audit, which the trust said was “routine” and looked at a range of areas where the emergency department could streamline operations, said: “Fifty-two per cent of conveyance[s] by ambulances were deemed as inappropriate".

“The reviewer did not have access to the policies of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which may account for the low number of appropriate conveyances. However, based on clinical judgment for cases presenting by ambulance the arrivals should have presented either to a community service (33%) or via their own transportation methods (38%), as their documented clinical condition and social circumstances allowed for this.”

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Source: HSJ, 9 November 2022


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