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National rollout for triage scheme which cut ambulance journeys

A scheme in which ‘category 2’ 999 calls are validated by clinicians will be extended nationally after reducing journeys by 4%in a pilot, with no adverse incidents, NHS England has told HSJ.

NHSE also confirmed that one ambulance trust in the scheme, the West Midlands, has begun delaying the dispatch of ambulances for some category 2 calls by up to 23 minutes so that the validation can take place. 

At three other trusts – London, South Western and the East Midlands – about 40% of category 2 calls receive clinical validation, but an ambulance is dispatched to them as soon it is available, as normal.

Officials said they believe the demand benefit could be greater if ambulance trusts are able to devote more clinical capacity to the validation process. About 40% of category 2 calls are judged suitable for validation, but not all of them complete the process before an ambulance arrives.

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Source: HSJ, 11 July 2023


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