Right Care

Many of the patients who call 999 for an ambulance can be managed safely and effectively over the phone, without sending an emergency ambulance. Where we do need to send an ambulance, over half of our patients can be managed by ambulance clinicians in their own home.

In 2010, the Trust developed the Right Care, Right Place, Right Time initiative, an innovative commissioner funded agreement that committed to us reducing unnecessary admissions to emergency departments by 10% within 5 years. The initiative focuses on providing patients who make contact with the 999 service with the most appropriate care. The aim is to provide care that meets the clinical need, is delivered by the most appropriate clinician and is provided at a location that is most suitable to the needs of the patient and of the wider health community.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of our clinicians, the programme exceeded expectations, with the proportion of 999 calls managed without the need to convey the patient to an Emergency Department increasing from 50.84% in 2010/11 to 57.45% in 2013/14. The programme continues to be driven forward, with more patients treated outside of hospital every year. In fact last year, when compared to 2011/12, we conveyed 60,440 fewer patients to Emergency Departments (166 a day!). SWASFT consistently manages more patients without the need to convey them to an Emergency Department, than any UK ambulance service.

Our clinicians are at the heart of the Right Care2 programme, and have the greatest level of clinical autonomy of any UK ambulance service. They have access to a wide range of referral pathways, including Minor Injury Units, Urgent Care Centres, ambulatory care units and MAUs; admission to an ED is for patients who really do require emergency assessment.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is very keen to work with our partner organisations to understand how we can work together to deliver to the Right Care. For further details on this initiative please contact swasft.rightcare@nhs.net