Emergency Clinical Advice and Triage Centre

Date: 16 January 2019

999 Call Handler on headset in front of computer screen

When people call 999 with issues of back pain, stomach upsets or other non-emergency conditions, the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has a specialist team to help get the right care to the patient.

 

The Emergency Clinical Advice and Triage Centre (ECAT) team has skilled and experienced paramedics, emergency care practitioners, multi-disciplinary nurses and admin staff working 365 days a year to try and treat patients over the phone. The clinicians use their experience to assess the patient, often able to access their previous medical records, with consent. This helps the paramedic or nurse make a decision on the right treatment for each patient, including booking out of hours GP appointments, advising visits to walk in centres or other non-emergency care options.

 

Their skills mean that patients who don't need an emergency response are assessed over the phone and advised how to access the best quality care, keeping emergency ambulances on the road treating life threatening emergencies.

 

Dr Tom Davis, Medical Director, said: " People call us for a variety of reasons so it's important we care for everyone as well as we possibly can. Having the ECAT resource means that experienced clinicians can focus on patients who are unwell, but for whom help over the phone might be right for them. This team lets us care for people with different needs appropriately - meaning our ambulance crews are able to get to patients who are critically unwell more quickly."

 

Members of the ECAT team also work with partner agencies focusing on frequent callers and clinical advice for front line crews.

 

  • Summary:

    When people call 999 with issues of back pain, stomach upsets or other non-emergency conditions, the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has a specialist team to help get the right care to the patient.