Lincolnshire firefighters to take patients to hospital in trial scheme

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  • Lincolnshire firefighters to take patients to hospital in trial scheme
  • Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Lincolnshire firefighters to take patients to hospital in trial scheme

    Firefighters are to take patients to hospital in their own red ambulances as part of a new £500,000 pilot programme to be rolled out over the new few months.

    Three fire stations are to spearhead the test which would see fire crews taking sick people to hospitals around the county in orthodox ambulances painted in fire-red livery.

    The programme is being set-up in collaboration with the East Midlands Ambulance Services (EMAS) which is looking to make its emergency response times faster.

    The funding for the new scheme has been provided by the Transformation Challenge Award. The Government set aside £9 million for those local authorities and fire and rescue operations looking to transform their services.

    Fire crews would only take the patient to hospital on the advice of a paramedic who would also be present.

    Nick Borrill, deputy chief fire officer, confirmed the plan would be put into action in the next few months at three stations, yet to be announced.

    “The trial is purely about the conveyance. If you have an appropriate vehicle, would it not be better to convey the person to hospital to reduce response times and save lives?

    “The crew would go with the ambulance to hospital. We are planning to test this in three fire stations initially.

    “We are hoping to start it in the next two or three months. We are getting the ambulances through EMAS.”

    A total of £500,000 was awarded to the Lincs Fire and Rescue (LF&R) team to put the ambulance service into action.

    Chief fire officer Dave Ramscar added: “We put a bid in before Christmas and we received £500,000 funding from the Transformation Challenge Award.

    “A total of 42 per cent of our calls are medical emergencies. People will dial 999 and the call will go through to EMAS but if you have had a heart attack, and the nearest resource to you is a fire crew and an ambulance, surely that is better. You don’t want to be waiting for an hour and half to go to hospital.

    “Two fire crew will drive the ambulances. They will have all the same kit as an EMAS ambulance but our guys will drive them.”

    Concern over possible waiting times at hospitals was a key concern, meaning that fire crew staff could be tied up for hours while patients were checked in. But LF&R added that discussions were in hand with EMAS to see if there was scope to release the fire crews from any adverse waiting times.

    Mr Borrill explained: “We are working with EMAS so there may be a mechanism in place to release the firefighters. If it doesn’t happen for any reason then we will say it is not for us at this moment in time.”

    In another new development, the trading arm of the LF&R service is due to be rolled out on April 1 and it will be known as ‘Incendi’ – the Spanish word for ‘fire’.

    The trading arm is looking to boost funds in order to offset budget reductions in the next few years.

    “The whole driver has come from us,” added Mr Ramscar. “I am quite excited by it. We have a £200,000 loan from the county council and we will be live from April 1.

    “We will be looking at the private sector to see what contracts may be available. It will not impact on our ability to produce a front line service. We have a legal requirement to provide a fire and rescue service.

    A spokesman for the Lincolnshire County Council added: “Several translations of ‘fire’ were considered. The decision was made after looking at available web domain names.”

    http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Firefighters-patients-hospital-trial-scheme/story-20563504-detail/story.html

    Thin end of the wedge here IMHO. If there is a need for more Ambulances get more Ambulances! Is this another method of fudging attendance times for ambos? What if the FF’s are required for fire call?

    Merging/privatising of the services the next tory sell off?

    Premier Icon plumslikerocks
    Subscriber

    On the surface of it, I don’t have a problem with it. Firefighters are commonly paramedics in the US.

    Modern fire stations, appliances and operations seem very much like overkill for what they are called to do most of the time. I’d like to see more innovation with respect to smaller, lighter, quick responder vehicles for bin fires and vehicle fires.

    Obviously if the OPs initiative is purely a cost cutting measure to trim emergency provision back to the bare minimum (which I suspect it is) then it needs to be treated with caution. But in principle, it could offer an improvement.

    qwerty
    Member

    What a load of bollocks.

    Give the cash directly to the cash starved ambo services.

    In that scenario you loose a fire crew AND the clinician if they are required to travel as well.

    They are setting it up to fail = privatization.

    ji
    Member

    Most of the firefighters in Lincs are retained – ie not on duty until needed. There was a push to increase the number of 24/7 stations a year or so ago due to the poor response times. Not sure if these two together will help or hinder….

    pikey999
    Member

    As a fireman in Lincs, what qwerty said!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Now contracts are open to all anyone can set themselves up to transport patients to hospitals, for NHS Ambulances Services to survive they need to offer the best service they can as they won’t be the cheapest. To be cheaper they need to find alternative ways, this is one but a foolish one I think.

    That said if Lincolnshire Fire Service are as quiet as others then it will make sense for them to be used for other uses, I’m not sure this is the right one though.

    I don’t think the article is clear though. Ambulance Services are adapting, we’re doing more and more treat and refer, that is the future. The referral can be a GP, a Walk in Centre, treat on scene and left, own transport to hospital or an alternative such as the Fire Service mini bus.

    Out of Hours contracts are opening up soon, GPs don’t want to do these anymore who do you think will have the skill set and staff to take on these with some sensible investment to generate a nice income for essential care?

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    As a fireman in Lincs, what qwerty said!

    which station pikey?

    project
    Member

    Why not fit a top hook on the back of fire engines and tow a red caravan round to pick up patients, and when not used could be used as weekend accomadation for holidaying firemen.

    Also all drunk should be taken to a drop in centre and left there,not clogging up a and e.

    elma
    Member

    As a FF in Tyne and Wear i know we pursued this avenue a few years ago and the north east ambulance service told us to foxtrot oscar. I wonder if we put this idea forward now what the response would be seen as NEAS are now using St Johns ambulances as paramedic units.

    ninfan
    Member

    I’m guessing this is aimed at rural areas?

    ji
    Member

    I’m guessing this is aimed at rural areas?

    You have obviously never been to Lincolnshire. There isn’t much urban here….

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    We have Ambo’s on station shared facilities etc. However we are getting used more and more for gaining entry into premise for the Ambulance service, more often we are in attendance way ahead of RR crew or Ambo’s. Asked the question to their control why we were called for when they didn’t know if we were required to gain entry or not as they weren’t there..”Just in case” I think its more that the clock stops ticking when we arrive.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    As a FF in Tyne and Wear i know we pursued this avenue a few years ago and the north east ambulance service told us to foxtrot oscar.

    Not quite true that is it.

    I can’t comment Bruneep as it’ll depend on what you vehicle carries but it’s possible you’re right. The response targets are something that frustrates me.

    elma
    Member

    What part is not true the bit where the whole side of the ambulance says St Johns ambulance service or the bit about where we offered to take you over.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Why not fit a top hook on the back of fire engines and tow a red caravan round to pick up patients, and when not used could be used as weekend accomadation accommodation for holidaying firemen firefighters.

    Brilliant idea! Oh hold on I see a flaw I’m not allowed to take my fire appliance on holiday.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    What part is not true the bit where the whole side of the ambulance says St Johns ambulance service or the bit about where we offered to take you over.

    Go on tell the full tale of what Mr Caple’s response was.

    Premier Icon althepal
    Subscriber

    Fireys helping to justify themselves is nothing new. Not knocking it-just admire them for it.
    Understand that utilising fire crews when theyre on station but are they separate or taken off a pump? How does that work if theres so many retained- OT?
    On the surface could be a decent idea but the cynic in me thinks its just another sticking plaster on a very complex problem relating to the general lack of ambulance/nhs resources..
    interested about the above- there was similar talk a few years ago and I believe the sas response was similar..

    pikey999
    Member

    Sadexpunk

    Station 14

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    Sadexpunk

    Station 14
    im 13 😀

    hora
    Member

    Wtf. Its barking. What next? Policemen delivering parcels?

    b r
    Member

    Give the cash directly to the cash starved ambo services.

    Based on what I see, they aren’t – just badly used/managed.

    For example; hospital orders an ambulance to take home a patient, and the patient (usually their meds and letters) aren’t ready – so the crew hang around while they are. Or the crew arrive with a patient for A&E and due to the 4-hour max in A&E, have to wait outside until the hospital will admit.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    I wonder if we put this idea forward now what the response would be seen as NEAS are now using St Johns ambulances as paramedic units.

    They are not Paramedic units…….. at least not yet! According to NEAS management, they are merely a stopgap to make up for a shortfall in funding due to NEAS correctly forecasting demand and ‘the government’ getting it wrong. We all believe this, of course and it can’t possibly had anything to do with the fact that St. John’s and Red Cross utilisation is vey much more attractive on the balance sheet!

    br – not quite accurate in my area (NE England) but in reality you aren’t far off. Hospital handover times are causing huge problems for ambulance services and as Drac pointed out ^^ there is increasing pressure on Paramedics to use other pathways in order to alleviate pressure on A&E depts. and take on the role originally designed for ECP’s (emergency care practitioners).

    I don’t see how this idea would work, as a Paramedic would have to travel if the case required it and it would remove a firefighter from his/her area of expertise for hours, potentially. It’s also a minefield regarding liability should anything go wrong.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Cheers Woody I missed that bit off that they’re not Paramedic units. So basically none of what Elma claimed is true.

    b r
    Member

    br – not quite accurate in my area (NE England) but in reality you aren’t far off. Hospital handover times are causing huge problems for ambulance services and as Drac pointed out ^^ there is increasing pressure on Paramedics to use other pathways in order to alleviate pressure on A&E depts. and take on the role originally designed for ECP’s (emergency care practitioners).

    Yep, and an (unintended) consequence of a maximum 4 hour in A&E is that ambulances are not been allowed to ‘discharge’… Not that you’ll get the ‘architect’ of that particular idea to admit it.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Yep, and an (unintended) consequence of a maximum 4 hour in A&E is that ambulances are not been allowed to ‘discharge’… Not that you’ll get the ‘architect’ of that particular idea to admit it.

    I’d put money on it that he has a better idea than you given the location he works in.

    b r
    Member

    I’d put money on it that he has a better idea than you given the location he works in.

    Drac – Eh, do you believe he knew what would occur, and planned it?

    FYIW I work in the NHS

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