Ambulance handover solution reduces delays

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 31-Mar-2023

Mobile facility cuts waiting times at Peterborough City Hospital emergency department

A mobile unit has been deployed as an innovative ambulance handover solution at Peterborough City Hospital, helping to reduce delays and improve the patient experience.  

The facility, created and installed by Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, is stationed at the hospital’s ambulance bay and provides up to eight trolleys for patients awaiting admission to the emergency department. 

The joint project between Vanguard and North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust will increase patient capacity at busy times and enable ambulance staff to be redeployed to 999 calls.

The facility will be staffed by the trust’s clinical team and is due to be on site for six months.  

Ambulance handover delays and corridor care has been widely reported across the NHS this winter.

And to help increase capacity at Peterborough as quickly as possible to alleviate and avoid these issues, the project was planned and the mobile facility delivered within weeks.  

Caroline Walker, chief executive at the Trust, said: “As we approached our busy winter period, we knew we needed an extra facility to help us address the lack of capacity in our emergency department.

“We looked at options and it became obvious that Vanguard was able to respond quickly to our urgent winter need.  

“Before the facility was installed, there was concern because we were installing a facility during a very-challenging time and with us still needing to run our emergency department, but the installation was completed extremely quickly and Vanguard worked with us to create alternative plans to help us cope with the ambulances arriving at the same time as the facility was being installed.”

Maxine Lawson, account manager at Vanguard, added: “We were delighted to be able to provide a solution which will directly benefit patients in this way and help ambulances to be back out responding to calls as quickly as possible.  

“We have worked closely with the trust on how a mobile unit could help them at various stages of the patient pathway starting from arrival at the emergency department and the additional benefit of releasing ambulances more quickly means potentially more patients can be helped.”

The unit will run 24 hours a day and on arrival at the emergency department patients will be triaged and a decision made as to where they can await admission to the department.

The ambulance handover unit includes patient and staff facilities including toilets, changing rooms, and medical gases to ensure it is both clinically high quality as well as comfortable.”  

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