EEAST under extreme pressure
Date: 02 October 2022
The NHS is currently facing incredibly high demand and we are working very closely with hospitals to improve care for our patients. We have put in place new hospital ambulance liaison officers at hospitals to speed up handovers and new systems to pre-alert hospitals about the sickest patients, and direct non-urgent patients to other services where appropriate.
On Saturday, due to increased pressure across the Eastern region from lengthy delays at hospital handover and 999 demand, we moved our status to Major Incident Standby.
Being at Major Incident Standby allows us to direct our resources further to focus on patient care and makes some actions possible, including:
- Making overtime incentives and other measures available to ensure we have all available staff on-shift
- Prioritising our sickest patients and those unable to make their own way to hospital
- Cancelling some staff meetings, training and assessment.
- Since July 2021 the Trust has been operating at the National Ambulance Resilience Unit’s Resource Escalation Action Plan (REAP) Level 4. This is equal to hospital Opel 4 status.
- REAP is a framework designed to maintain an effective and safe operational and clinical response for patients and is the highest escalation alert level for ambulance trusts.
Our service is under extreme pressure and we have increased our escalation state across the Trust.