PERFORMANCE: A new arrangement between Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the Hambleton and Richmondshire community fast response team at South Tees Hospitals NHS foundation trust  is reducing the number of ambulance call-outs and improving care for people who have fallen.

Previously the response to all 999 calls made in respect of people who had a fall was to send an ambulance. Now, under strict protocols, if the patient is in a safe home environment, with a carer or relative present, and there is no indication that the patient needs to go to hospital, the call is referred to the 24-hour fast response hospital nursing team for assessment.

Clinical manager Pam McIvor said: “An analysis of 999 calls made in Hambleton and Richmondshire to the ambulance service showed a relatively high number from people who had fallen but did not need to be taken to hospital for treatment.

“As we operate a 24-hour service, it seemed a logical step for our community fast response team to go and make the initial assessment of the patient’s medical condition rather than sending a more costly ambulance and crew, providing this was considered appropriate for the patient.”