South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is delighted to announce that the Oxford SOS Service will be operating once again on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 November to 6 January 2018 in Oxford City Centre.
Launched in November 2014, the SOS project was unable to operate this year for a number of reasons. This resulted in growing concerns from Oxford Street Pastors, Thames Valley Police and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about the lack of medical provision in the city centre which may have led to an increase in 999 responses and A&E presentations for alcohol related incidents.
Between August and December 2016, the number of patients seen by the SOS Service demonstrated that only 12% of patients seen needed to be transferred to A&E; 83% of patients were able to be treated by SCAS staff at the scene and discharged to go home*.
Craig Heigold, Paramedic Team Leader at SCAS and Oxford SOS Project Lead, said:
“The SOS Project provides a valuable service at a time of peak demand – Friday and Saturday nights – for all local NHS and emergency services in Oxford City Centre. I’m delighted that Oxfordshire CCG has once again agreed to fund the service. By doing so we can reduce the demand on our colleagues at A&E, as well as ensure that more Oxfordshire SCAS staff and vehicles are free to respond to non-alcohol related illnesses and injuries elsewhere in the city and surrounding areas. We can also provide a faster and more effective response to patients in the city centre who need us.”
The SOS Service is located in the Cornmarket and is available every Friday and Saturday night from 22.45 to 05.00. The service operates from an emergency ambulance, staffed by two clinicians and a non-clinical member of staff.
*The remaining 2% of patients were discharged to Thames Valley Police.