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More patients across the region are receiving specialist care in their own homes instead of being admitted to hospital as our multi-disciplinary Urgent Community Response (UCR) teams continues to develop stronger links to the ambulance service.

Over the past year, we have been working in partnership with South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) on develop closer working relationships to access their system to view lower category calls which require a response.

The approach involves remote access to a secure portal linked to SECAmb's Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Through the portal, teams can select appropriate lower category call patients which they are able to attend to provide care.

In March, our UCR teams were the first to go ‘live' on the new portal and they have attended more than 220 patients via the portal with 72 per cent of patients being managed by UCR without further support from SECAmb. It now operates 12 hours every day from 8am-8pm.

Kieran Cambell, Clinical Lead for Integrated Care (SECAmb) and Emma Reeve, Clinical Service Manager

UCR teams provide urgent care to people in their homes which helps to avoid hospital admissions and enables people to live independently for longer. Through these teams, older people and adults with complex health needs who urgently need care, can get fast access to a range of health and social care professionals within two hours.

With a UCR team attending instead of an ambulance crew, SECAmb's resources are more available to attend the most seriously ill and injured patients requiring a response.

By using the portal across all our Urgent Community Response Teams, we are supporting an increasing number of patients to stay in their own homes and avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital.  This project has demonstrated true collaboration across the health system and has already seen an incredibly positive impact on patient care.

Hollie Poole, West Sussex Area Director at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Through this work, we are looking to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate service for their need. Working in this more collaborative way with our community providers, who are able to provide timely and skilled responses to a wide range of urgent care presentations, will also ensure that lower category call patients are not waiting longer than they should to be seen and that ambulance crews are as available as possible to respond to critically ill and injured patients.

Kieran Cambell, Clinical Lead for Integrated Care (999 and 111) at SECAmb

Page last reviewed: 22 May 2024