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Busy year for Jersey's ambulance service

10 August 2018

Ambulance on slipway in Jersey image

The States of Jersey Ambulance Service received more than 9,000 emergency calls during 2017, the highest number in recent years.

Statistics from the Ambulance Service’s annual report, released this week, show that the number of emergency calls has continued to rise steadily in recent years.

The report also showed how ambulance response times in Jersey compare with UK target figures, which are used as a benchmark. In 2017, 98% of calls classed as category A (immediately life-threatening) were reached within 19 minutes and 68% within eight minutes. UK response time targets are 95% of calls within 19 minutes and 75% within eight minutes.

Other data in the annual report shows that:

  • the Patient Transport Service undertook 31,643 patient journeys, 7,751 of which were by volunteers from our Hospital Car Service
  • 246 air ambulance flights were undertaken, transferring patients for emergency specialist treatment in the UK
  • five cardiac arrest patients who were brought to Jersey General Hospital were later able to be discharged – this represented 24% of those who had a pre-hospital return of spontaneous circulation, a figure which compares well with England, where only about 7-8% of people on whom resuscitation is attempted by ambulance services survive to hospital discharge

The Ambulance Service is helping address the rising demand in medical 999 calls by providing alternative methods of care and avoiding the need to dispatch double-crewed emergency ambulances. This work includes a number of work streams such as the ‘See and Treat’ service, using Advanced and Specialist Paramedics, and the Care Hub, which aims to provide a ‘Hear and Treat’ service.

Other features highlighted in the report include:

  • redefined eligibility criteria for patient transport to ensure only those with the highest medical/clinical/social need receives States-funded transport. This led to a reduction of patient journeys and associated costs, resulting in a reduction in headcount and vehicles
  • enhanced training provision to ensure paramedics and ambulance technicians are equipped to deliver a high standard of care
  • Working closely with many Island charities to provide advanced medical support at major events and exercises throughout the year

Peter Gavey, Chief Ambulance Officer, said “2017 was one of the busiest years that we’ve faced as a Service, and there’s been no sign of a fall in call levels thus far in 2018. Our staff have worked very hard to step up to the challenge, working in partnership with colleagues from Health and Community Services, volunteers and third-sector organisations, and the Service is moving towards new ways of working in order to ensure we are fit for the future.”

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