“Clinical commissioners do see ambulance services as an integral part of the health system and we agree that they are a vital component of the whole health service.
“CCGs are working hard to make the changes needed to ensure we have an ambulance service that remains sustainable and safe, and gives our patients the best possible care. They play a fundamental role on the recently established A&E Delivery Boards, working in partnership with ambulance, primary care and mental health providers, as well as social care, to take a whole system view of ensuring the sustainable delivery of urgent and emergency care.
“Our role as commissioners is to work in collaboration to find solutions to the immense challenges that we are all facing across health and care, and the NAO report clearly demonstrates the pressures facing the ambulance service, many of which are as a result of those wider challenges. Issues such as handover and turnaround delays inevitably have a huge knock on effect on the service’s performance and clinical commissioners are working with colleagues across the urgent care system to find solutions to help manage these.
“The NHSCC National Ambulance Commissioners Network will continue to work with lead ambulance commissioners, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS England and others across the country to address the broader issues around how the ambulance service fits into the wider urgent and emergency care system and also how we can implement changes to ensure the sustainability of the service. This also includes looking at appropriate measurements of performance which relate to patient outcomes rather than solely being about to time-based targets.”
26 January 2017