Matt Green, paramedic for Medic Now and the South Central Ambulance Service asks the Friday Frontline Question. Follow him on Twitter @mlg1611
I really enjoy leaving patients at home. There is an enormous professional satisfaction in responding to a 999 call, providing a thorough assessment and formulating a good discharge plan to leave the patient in the comfort of their own home with appropriate arrangements.
As long as home is safe, the patient avoids the disruption of a hospital visit; they don’t become a burden on a busy Emergency Department and they are left with a good impression of ambulance practitioner’s clinical aptitude.
My `record` for avoiding transport to the Emergency Department was leaving 9 patients out of 10 at home in a single shift. However, recently I have been getting nowhere near this rate and I think it’s linked to the increased effectiveness of telephone services such as 111 and ambulance trusts’ clinical triage facilities. This is fantastic news as patients are getting what they need and ambulance resources are being conserved for more appropriate situations. However, it leaves me wondering whether Double Manned Ambulances leaving patients at home has had its heyday and whether conveyance rates of patients actually seen by ambulance crews will increase.
Will there ever come a day when telephone-based assessment, advice and referral will be so effective it will become exceptionally rare for ambulance crews to leave patients at home since the unavoidable need for conveyance has been correctly identified over the phone?
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