Who we are and what we do
The North East Ambulance Service provides a number of NHS services, and covers the counties of County Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear, along with the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
That's 60 stations spread across a square area of 3,200 miles, and home to 2.6 million people.
We employ more than 2,000 staff and respond to over 360,000 emergency and urgent incidents per annum. Our fleet of more than 500 vehicles clock-up close to 10 million miles per year.
We are also known for pioneering and piloting new developments - most recently, the use of the NHS Pathways triaging system, and also 111.
The NEAS Patient Transport Service helps those who require transport to outpatient appointments, planning for over one million patient transport service journeys per annum.
In some cases we use our ambulance car service drivers - volunteers who help outpatients reach their appointments.
The A&E service and Patient Transport Service are both supported by the NEAS contact centres based at Newburn Riverside and Hebburn, which manage in excess of 450,000 calls per annum.
For major emergencies where there's a high risk to public health, NEAS calls on its HART (Hazardous Area Response Team).
The HART team are a group of paramedics who are trained to go into the 'hot zone' of incidents.
NEAS also works closely with a number of voluntary organisations, such as St Johns Ambulance Service and the British Red Cross.
NEAS won a £45 million contract in 2012 in partnership with Northern Doctors Urgent Care to roll out the NHS 111 non-emergency number across the North East - a service it successfully piloted in 2011.
Volunteers are recruited and trained across the North East to act as Community First Responders - providing life support in the more rural parts of the region.
Community First Responders are alerted to an emergency by NEAS ambulance control, and deal with a specific list of emergencies until an ambulance arrives.
NEAS also provides first aid training on a commercial basis to organisations in the public and private sector.
You can find out more about all of these aspects of our work by exploring the website.
Our partners include two Mental Health Trusts, two Foundation Trusts; Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust as well as 12 local unitary authorities, and eight acute hospital trusts which can be found to the right.
How we are Monitored
Ambulance performance is monitored by the Primary Care Trust Boards and is overseen by NHS North East - the strategic health authority for the region. This body is the representation of the Department of Health in the area.
A&E ambulance services are paid for by NHS Primary Care Trusts, of which there are 12 in the North East. You can find their contact details to the right.
In 2013 the Primary Care Organisations will be replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups, of which there are 3 in the North East Region:
Newcastle Bridges Clinical Commissioning Group
Geographical area: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Number of practices: 18
Population size: 161,110
Geographical area: Redcar and Cleveland
Number of practices: 16
Population size: 110,326
County Durham and Darlington
Geographical area: County Durham and Darlington
Number of practices: 90
Population size: 617,885
These Clinical Commissioning Groups will be free to merge, expand or change location. Not all practices in a group have to be physically located in the same area. Each Clinical Commissioning Group will have an 'accountable officer' to take financial control of budgets from its PCT. A new NHS Commissioning Board will calculate practice-level budgets and allocate them directly to the groups. These groups will then be responsible for commissioning NEAS.
There are a number of sparsely populated areas and isolated residents in the North East, particularly in the rural parts of Northumberland and Durham. The North East has a high level of deprivation and experiences some of the highest levels of disease prevalence in the country.
Poor health compounded by the rural nature of our region creates pressure for NEAS to achieve performance targets. While NEAS meets response targets on a regional basis it is more difficult to achieve them at a divisional level.
Like every other heath service provider, NEAS is regulated by the independent watchdog the Care Quality Commission. The Commission rates all services on the basis of quality of services to patients and use of resources in which NEAS are consistently rated excellent and good respectively making us one of the highest scoring ambulance trusts in the country.
This score is the direct result of our hard working, skilled and dedicated staff. In addition, an increased investment in ambulance services in the last decade has led to improved ambulance performance to emergency responses. NEAS is now reaching more patients with life threatening conditions faster than ever before.
Ambulances and rapid response vehicles are equipped with technology such as heart monitors and telemetry, which let ambulance crews send information about a patient's condition directly to receiving hospitals. Paramedics now provide an expanding range of care outside of hospital and have become mobile, pre-hospital clinical care for all emergency patients.
Board Register of Interests
The NEAS Board can confirm that it maintains a register of interest and entries have been made in respect of the following members:
NEAS is satisfied that all of our directors are appropriately qualified to contribute to setting strategy, monitoring and managing performance, and ensuring management capacity and capability.
NEAS's selection process and training programmes ensure that non-executive directors have appropriate experience and skills, and that the management team has the capability and experience to deliver its objectives.
It complies with relevant legislation and is satisfied that, to the best of its knowledge, using its own processes, it has and will maintain effective arrangements for the purpose of monitoring and continually improving the quality of healthcare provided to its patients.
The board meets at least 6 times in public each year - details of the meetings for this financial year can be found below.
2013/14 Board meeting dates