Issue - meetings

Urgent Care in East Sussex

Meeting: 03/03/2022 - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 31)

31 Urgent Care in East Sussex - Update report pdf icon PDF 301 KB

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31.1     The Committee considered a report which provided an update on various aspects of Urgent Care in East Sussex. Representatives from SECAmb provided an update on 999 and 111 ambulance services. These services continue to be challenged, as with the national picture, in terms of response times, telephone call answering times and dealing with increased demand for 111 services. However, SECAmb have performed well in comparison with other ambulance services in the region. Representatives from ESHT and the CCG provided updates on other aspects of Urgent Care, including Walk in Centres (WIC) and the Crowborough Minor Injuries Unit (MIU).

SECAmb Services

31.2     The Committee asked for more information on the increased call volumes for the 111 service.

31.3     John O’Sullivan, SECAmb outlined that call volumes were up year on year. Call volumes for the 111 service are still significantly above the contracted level SECAmb was commissioned to provide. Commissioners have created a clear pathway to access 111 services, and this has led to increased activity. It is expected that activity will continue to go up in 2022/23 due to the role of 111 as the single point of access for services.

31.4     The Committee asked if there was an impact when A&E departments are full and whether more people are still using the 111 service.

31.5     John O’Sullivan responded that Emergency Department (ED) capacity is not something that is within the 111 service’s control. However, the role of 111 is to triage patients as to whether they need to go to EDs or not. Of those patients who went through the 111 service, 82% had a direct ED booking. SECAmb is in the vanguard of ambulance services nationally who offer this service. There is still some reluctance by patients to go through the 111 service, but overcrowded EDs are not because of the 111 service and are more a result of patients who elect to present at A&E / Emergency Departments.

31.6     The Committee asked for an update on the new Make Ready Centres and the use of zero emission vehicles.

31.7     Ray Savage, Strategic Partnerships Manager SECAmb, outlined that the new Make Ready Centre at Falmer is now operational and combines facilities for staff welfare and vehicle servicing enabling an efficient service to be provided. The next development will be at Medway where the Make Ready Centre will be co-located with the operations centre for 999 and 111 services for the SECAmb east area. This will create efficiencies and inter-operability between 111 and 999 services, as it enhances the opportunities for dual role staff. The Medway operations centre will cover 999 and 111 services for East Sussex, Kent and Medway which comprises the east operational area of SECAmb. Currently there are separate operations centres in Ashford and Medway. Julie-Marie Allsopp-West, SECAmb, added that the Medway centre is due to become operational in Autumn 2022, with the building due to be handed over in August 2022.

31.8     Ray Savage outlined that SECAmb is exploring the use of zero  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31