- 2010 Health Care Service Group Conference
- 30 November 2009
This conference has major concerns over Ambulance trusts using inappropriate methods in responding to 999 calls including:
·Excessive deployment of Community Responders
·Use of the unregulated voluntary and private sector.
The concept of Community or First Responders was initiated to widen the availability of early defibrillation in immediately life threatening situations in areas that were relatively inaccessible.
Conference notes that these resources are now being utilised on a wider scale in order to meet response time targets at the lowest possible cost. It is also the case in some trusts that voluntary and private sector ambulance services are being used on a routine basis to deal with the ongoing rise in demand on ambulance services instead of increasing permanent staffing levels.
Conference calls on the SGE to raise awareness of this issue and to campaign for:
i.Stricter controls on the use of community responders;
ii.Ambulance and all other NHS targets to embody minimum quality of care standards in addition to any other criteria such as time measurement;
iii.A halt to the use of the voluntary and private sector in NHS ambulance provision save for exceptional circumstances such as protracted major incidents.