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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

New Ambulance Clinical Response Model Saves 1,182 More Lives

Scottish Ambulance Services (SAS) figures, published in partnership with the University of Stirling, show a 43% increase in patient survival in the first year of the New Clinical Response Model pilot - equivalent to 1,182 lives saved compared to 30 day survival data pre vs post model.

The evaluation analysed a snapshot of three months data during the SAS’s busiest months – January 2016, January 2017, and January 2018 and the SAS published data for the full 18 month period to April 2018.

The new Clinical Response Model is one of several measures implemented with £6.3 million of SNP Government funding for delivery of the Towards 2020: Taking Care to the Patient strategy, which focuses on increasing service capacity for care at home or in the community. Other measures include increasing collaboration with other healthcare providers, so more services are delivered in community settings that meet patient needs, and continuing progress towards the commitment for 1,000 additional paramedics during this Parliament.

The report furthermore shows the model has led to:

  • Better cardiac arrest care - 21% increase in patients in cardiac arrest having a pulse when they arrive at hospital;

  • More advanced response - 100 % increase in having two crews on scene in cardiac arrest cases to increase chances of survival for the patient;

  • Smarter response to 999 calls - More accurate identification of patient conditions + getting the right type of response to them, first time;

  • Improved care on scene - Increased number of patients being taken to specialist facilities, such as stroke and heart units, rather than just the nearest hospital.

The new model prioritises our most critically ill patients, such as those having a cardiac arrest or in a serious road traffic accident for instance. For less urgent cases, call handlers may spend a little more time with patients to better understand their condition and ensure the right response is sent to the patient, first time.

The model furthermore aims to ensure smarter treatment and clinical decision making so patients are transported to the right kind of care – such as a specialist stroke or heart facility – not just the nearest hospital. It therefore focuses on improving patient outcomes, rather than simply measuring the time it takes to respond.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“I am delighted that the new model has saved so many lives across Scotland in such a short period of time.

“The previous system was introduced over 40 years ago as a one-size-fits-all solution for the entire UK and had largely not been updated since. It did not take into account the changing role and level of expertise of ambulance crews and was potentially diverting life-saving resources away from patients in greater need of assistance.

“Patients chances of survival are now higher than ever, which is heartening for all of us.”

Both reports have been published on the Scottish Ambulance Service website.


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