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Key work starts at The Northumbria to boost patient experience… and get ambulances back on the road faster

Thursday, 26 October, 2017
Key work starts at The Northumbria to boost patient experience… and get ambulances back on the road faster

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust today announced the start of works at The Northumbria hospital to improve both patient experience and operational efficiency. The move, part of the trust’s winter preparations, comes as a result of listening to what both the public and front line staff have said.

The Northumbria hospital is the region’s largest A&E department and since opening has seen an ever increasing number of patients needing its services. This has meant that ambulances have sometimes struggled to hand over patients within 15 minutes (the national target). These modifications follow on from measures taken last year which have already helped boost performance:

  • Clinical advice lines for paramedics to call ahead and speak to consultants and senior triage staff on arrival,
  • Ensuring ambulance crews are aware of when patients could be taken directly to urgent care centres at Wansbeck, Hexham and North Tyneside hospitals,
  • Providing direct access for paramedics to admit patients directly to certain departments within The Northumbria.

Listening to residents and staff

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take public and staff feedback very seriously and we’re always willing to try new ways of doing things if it means we provide a better level of service.

“We’ve listened, and then acted on what we’ve been told.”

The modifications – primarily affecting the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) patient arrival bays – will start almost immediately. The aims: to improve patient privacy and dignity on arrival and to enable ambulances (and their highly trained crews) to get back out on the road; where they can do the most good.

“It is an exciting time at The Northumbria,” continued Dr Rushmer. “We are adding eight patient arrival bays to our existing ones and now are taking a big step forward in terms of patient privacy and dignity. Moreover, turning around ambulances faster is obviously everyone’s best interest.

“We won’t be resting on our laurels though – we fully expect this winter to be hard and are determined to be ready for it.”


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