Developing an ambulance commissioning strategy for the future

The NHS Clinical Commissioners’ National Ambulance Commissioners Network (NACN) has today launched a new discussion paper on the future of ambulance commissioning.

Developing an ambulance commissioning strategy: Five Year Forward View and beyond’ sets out how ambulance services work within the current system, what the NACN believes the future could look like, and the challenges that need to be overcome for this to happen.

Jane HawkardJane Hawkard, Chair of the NACN and Chief Officer, NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG said:

“With the recent publication of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review there is a real opportunity to seize the moment and to move at pace to make changes to the way in which ambulance services are commissioned and provided to the benefit of patients.

“We can only do this through working collaboratively, something which the NACN strongly believes in, and we have consulted widely with partners across the urgent and emergency care system when producing this paper”

Key recommendations include:

  • Ambulance strategy documentThere should be a refocus on commissioning and provider systems that support non-conveyance and provision of the right care closer to home as its principal aim for most patients, while continuing to provide immediate transport and treatment solutions for those emergency patients who need a fast response.
  • A shift away from time-based targets for the majority of responses, to ones focused around patient and clinician experience and patient outcomes
  • The ambulance service should develop into a mobile health provider working in multidisciplinary teams.
  • A focus on an improved triage that will be consistent, systematic and focused on the right response for the patient (based on patient outcomes and appropriate speed of response).
  • A workforce and training plan developed with commissioners that supports the shift to new models of care which are realistic in terms of timescales for implementation and address geographical differences.
  • We should increase communication and engagement with the public to provide more clarity around expectations, and how we can shift to providing the ‘right’ response for them as a mobile treatment service and not simply a speed of response service.

Jane Hawkard continued:

“We hope that the issues raised in ‘Developing an ambulance commissioning strategy: Five Year Forward View and beyond’ will support us all in providing the public with a sustainable modern, fit-for-purpose service that delivers high-quality care.”

To read the full report click here. To find out more about our National Ambulance Commissioners Network click here.

18 November 2015