Thursday, 19 July 2012
Unnecessary ambulance call outs across Bridgend are being greatly reduced, thanks to a rapid response service which assesses patients needing assistance.
The Mobile Response Service attends calls to a telecare service from older people or vulnerable people, for example, those with chronic conditions or who are at risk of falls.
Patients’ homes are fitted with alert buttons and sensors, which, when activated, alert staff at a central call centre that the person may need help. Staff use an intercom to contact the patient, and if they need assistance the Mobile Response Service are contacted with the details.
The team then assess the patient in their home to determine if they need hospital or emergency care. So far this year, 674 call outs have been attended, but only 91 patients have needed an ambulance.
Picture l-r: Dale Jones and Zoe Newman, Mobile Response Care Workers
Zoe Newman, Mobile Response Care Worker, said:
“Not all patients who contact the telecare service will need to be taken to hospital. By us responding to the call, we can avoid patients having an ambulance with blue lights flashing outside of their house unnecessarily, as this can be traumatic.
“We use a checklist provided by the Welsh Ambulance Service to assess which patients need an ambulance. We are able to assist many patients at home, for example, by helping them into a chair if they have fallen.
“We were one of the first response teams in Wales registered with Care and Social Service Inspectorate Wales, to respond to these calls. In other areas of the country, the point of contact is a family member or friend. Through us responding to the calls, patients and families have peace of mind that there will always be someone available to answer.”
81-year-old Arwyn Thomas, from Brackla, receives support from the Mobile Response Service. His son, David Thomas, said:
“It is really reassuring to know that the
Mobile Response Service is available whenever my father activates his sensors. As soon as they are alerted, they are here within 15 or 20 minutes. Their care is excellent, and they are very professional.
“By having the service respond to the calls, we know that there will always be someone available when my father needs help but not necessarily an ambulance. If he has a small fall, or he needs help to move and we can’t manage by ourselves, we know we can rely on the response team. As I live in
, it is comforting to know that my parents aren’t on their own if they need help at any time of the day or night. Swansea
“Also, as some members of the team regularly respond to the calls, it makes it more pleasant as we feel that we know them, rather than having a stranger come to help.”