Some of the staff at our Gravelly Hill base just before they set off earlier today.

Urgent referral team goes live helping patients and hospitals alike

Today saw the return of a service that will help some of the sickest patients we see get to hospital on time while helping the 999 service get to patients even more quickly.

After weeks of planning, hard work from numerous departments within WMAS, today saw the PTS Urgent Referral Tier return for the winter months.

Tactical Commander, James Williams, said: “Last winter was one of the most challenging we have ever faced. One of the ways we helped ensure ambulance crews got to 999 calls quickly was to launch the Urgent Referral Tier.

“The crews are made up on one member of our non-emergency patient transport service and a clinician, usually a paramedic.

“Together they transport patients who have already been assessed by a clinician, often a GP, who has decided they require attendance at hospital and are sufficiently poorly that they need to be taken by ambulance. Equally, they will help the hospitals by taking patients home once they have been discharged.

By getting these crews to do the transfer, it means our frontline ambulances can concentrate on the 999 calls.

“Over the winter we will have 12 crews operating from Coventry, Dudley, Frankley, Gravelly Hill and Wolverhampton, solely attending urgent removal cases.

“These staff will play a vital role in helping to reduce the pressure on A&E Departments and our frontline ambulances.”

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