Ambulances

New ambulance hubs and discharge lounges ‘already benefitting tens of thousands’

Patient waiting times are being reduced by the rollout of new ambulance hubs and discharge lounges, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

Backed by the £250m investment that was announced in January to streamline discharges, the facilities are already helping hospitals improve patient flow and meet national targets.

Four of the new ambulance hubs are already operational and helping teams get back on the road faster and tend to patients with as little delay as possible.

Two more hubs are set to be launched before the end of the year in Romford and Leicester, adding to the already existing facilities Shropshire, Middlesbrough, Doncaster and Leicester again.

The Government say that NHS feedback indicates that around 1,000 patients have already benefitted from the rollouts, with an 86% reduction in lost hours due to delays being reported by Leicester health professionals.

The lounges on the other hand are helping the patients stuck in limbo waiting to be discharged by giving them an accommodating environment to wait in while also freeing up capacity in hospitals.

Overall, these new facilities will provide an extra 439 beds, 364 more chairs and 44 additional trolleys, with 26 of the 42 planned lounges already up and running.

“All of this is to ensure we can bring down waiting times and prepare for next winter,” said the health secretary, Steve Barclay.

NHS England’s deputy chief operating officer, Sarah-Jane Marsh, echoed Barclay’s sentiments highlighting that the new spaces, in conjunction with the actions outlined in the urgent and emergency care recovery plan, “will help us further improve patient experience and help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions ahead of next winter.”

Image credit: iStock.

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NHE May/June 2024

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