South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust (IWNHS) have announced that they are seeking opportunities to collaborate in a number of common areas.
Opportunities to work together in 999, NHS 111 integrated care, and patient transport services, where both organisations share common challenges, will be the immediate focus of the work. Both organisations recognise that improving the quality and performance of services for patients whilst achieving greater value for money, can be achieved through potentially sharing resources and best practice working.
Will Hancock, Chief Executive at SCAS, said:
“As the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health systems continue to further integrate and develop as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP), it makes perfect sense to seek opportunities to work more closely together and identify ways to deliver excellent patient care and reduce cost.”
Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive Officer, at IWNHS added:
“Our services work with a range of partners including the Police and Fire & Rescue Service and volunteers from organisations such as Coastguard, and already collaborate in a number of operational areas and we welcome opportunities to engage with stakeholders as we develop areas for further collaboration.”
A key area of immediate collaboration is the implementation of a new computer aided dispatch (CAD) system for the IWNHS Ambulance Service. Staff from IWNHS Ambulance Service are currently visiting SCAS’ Southern Headquarters at Otterbourne to be trained on the new system.
The Island’s current CAD system has been in use for nine years and needs to be updated. The new system for the Island is already in use within the South Central region covered by SCAS.
The new system for the Island has the following benefits:
- It ensures that the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service will be ready to move over to the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) when it goes live starting at the end of this year (the ESN will link the Ambulance Service, the Police and the Fire Service under a single communications network)
- It provides economies of scale for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s finances
- Ensure fewer software glitches and temporary fixes
- Interoperability with the SCAS system improves resilience should there be problems with either the SCAS or Isle of Wight systems
- Enables the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service to report the new Ambulance Response Programme (ARO) standards
The new ambulance response standards are:
Category 1 – Calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries
Category 4 – Less urgent calls