A new project has been developed by local GP practices, Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and West Midlands Ambulance Service to help reduce the number of patients being taken to an emergency department (A&E) unnecessarily following a 999 call.
The Ambulance GP Triage Project will help to take the pressure off busy A&E departments by providing on-scene advice and support to ambulance crews. West Midlands Ambulance Service crews will use mobile phones to contact the duty doctor at the patient’s GP practice during practice working hours.
Ambulance crews can discuss the patient’s clinical condition as the duty doctor will have access to the patient’s medical records. The crew can then consider alternatives to taking the patient to A&E.
GP practices across Northfield, Kingstanding and New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield, North East Birmingham, Edgbaston and South Birmingham are participating in the project.
Dr Louise Lumley, a local GP and Secondary Care Redesign Lead at Birmingham CrossCity CCG, said: “The aim of the project is to benefit both patients and doctors, as it’s hoped it will help to reduce the amount of people being taken to A&E.
“Ambulance crews assessing the patient will understand the person’s needs, as they’ll be able to speak directly to the duty doctor and can then respond to the patient’s needs; giving them the best possible care.”
The project is to help reduce the number of patients being taken to an A&E unnecessarily. A doctor will not be called where it is clear that the patient will need to be taken to hospital. If the patient doesn’t need to go to A&E and would benefit from alternative health or social care services, these can be arranged.
The impact of the Ambulance GP Triage Project will be evaluated in spring 2016.