Ambulance and police chiefs discuss patient transportation to hospital

Talks continue

Ambulance and police chiefs say they're working closely together to try and reduce the number of instances where patients are taken to hospital by police officers.

Dr Anthony Marsh QAM, Chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives , said: "While instances of the police transporting patients to hospital are very rare, the ambulance service welcomes the opportunity to have even closer dialogue on this subject so we can decide how best to eliminate any unintended consequences of such high increased demand upon Ambulance services.

Following talks with local forces, NEAS has issued guidance to officers on how the ambulance service prioritises requests for a vehicle.

Vehicles are despatched to patients most in need at the time - which can mean that individuals with non life-threatening injuries face a delay when call volumes are high.

On some occassions, police officers may decide to take a patient to hospital themselves rather than wait for the next available ambulance.

Dr Marsh said: "AACE staff have already been attending meetings with the Association of Chief Police Officers on this issue for several months, and I am confident that we will soon find ways to manage demand more effectively together - whilst continuing to provide the public with the excellent service they have come to expect from their NHS ambulance service."

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