Online tool to help treat OAPs at home

North West Ambulance Service
North West Ambulance Service
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Two Lancashire paramedics have developed a new online tool to help reduce the number of hospital admissions from care homes.

Patients in care homes falling ill is the cause one in 10 999 call-outs, but most elderly patients prefer to be treated in familiar surroundings by people they know.

So paramedics Mark Wenham and Steph Allmark, who work in the West Lancashire area, came up with the online triage tool.

The system can be used by care home staff to input the patients symptoms and see if they need hospital treatment, or could be treated at the care home.

Care home staff have now been given training in using the Nursing and Residential Triage Tool to asses patients before calling for an ambulance.

Initially using the tool in just three care homes in the area, its success has now meant that it has been

implemented in over 50 across the North West with a view to expand to over 200 in the coming months.

Using the tool has proven successful in trials and has reduced 999 calls to nursing and residential homes by over 50 per cent in some cases.

Mark said: “Patients in care and residential homes are often much more comfortable being treated where they are and without the need to be admitted to hospital and wherever possible we do everything we can to make sure this is possible.

“The tool is not only hugely beneficial to the ambulance service as it frees up our vehicles and crews for serious and life-threatening emergencies, it also means that the patient is treated in a surrounding that they are used to and with people that they know.”