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AN INITIATIVE to deliver enhanced care for patients in North Wales closer to home has won a national award.
The Welsh Ambulance Service’s Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP) pilot scheme was recognised in the Leading for the Future category at the All Wales Continuous Improvement Community Awards 2018.
The event, held by Academi Wales at Margam Park near Port Talbot this morning (Tuesday 22 May), celebrates the hard work carried out by public services throughout Wales.
Since November 2017, the team of 10 advanced paramedics has treated more than 1,000 patients across the region and prevented an unnecessary visit to hospital in more than 70 per cent of cases.
It’s estimated that this freed up an additional 732 ambulance hours, allowing crews to provide a more timely response to those patients who do require hospital transport.
Also highly commended in the same category was the Trust’s Leadership Development Programme, to strengthen and enhance the skills of team leaders.
Andy Swinburn, Assistant Director of Paramedicine for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are extremely proud of the exceptional care delivered by our APPs, as well the sterling efforts of the whole team from across the organisation working behind the scenes.
“It’s important now more than ever that we look at new and innovative ways to deliver care for our patients, and the outcomes we’ve achieved to date show this is definitely making a difference.
“We were particularly honoured to be nominated alongside our Organisational Development colleagues, who have helped to advance the strength of leadership within the Trust.”
The initiative sees two APPs in rapid response vehicles on shift each day, attending calls selected by another team member based in the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Llanfairfechan.
Each of them has gained additional education, training and skills, and in the majority of cases can assess and treat patients out in the community, or refer them to the most appropriate care provider.
As well as assisting people whose condition is not immediately life-threatening, the team also attends red calls – the most serious category – when they are the nearest available resource.
The scheme has also been shortlisted for the Healthcare People Management Association Excellence Awards, which will be held on 7 June 2018 in London.
Dr Brendan Lloyd, Medical Director for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “I would like to congratulate Andy and the whole team on this well-deserved recognition.
“This is an ambitious initiative, which has helped to ease some of the pressure on Emergency Departments and other local services in the area, setting the standard for future advanced practice schemes in Wales.”