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NHS Charities Together to support and fund East of England Ambulance Service community response projects

Date: 27 January 2022

CFR falls training

NHS Charities Together has awarded £508,689 to East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds. These funds will be used to enhance the role of community first responders (CFRs) across the East of England, who are trained volunteers dispatched to emergency incidents when every second counts.

The funds have been awarded thanks to the Ambulance Grants Programme which was launched by NHS Charities Together in March 2021 in recognition of the vital work that ambulance charities do to support the work of the NHS. Thanks to the support of the public, the grant is part of £7m which has been allocated by population across all the ambulance charities in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  

The grant will fund the falls equipment for eighteen targeted Community First Responder (CFR) groups, to provide initial falls training and on-going annual recertification training to volunteers to increase community resilience across the east of England. This valuable scheme will upskill volunteers to provide support to patients in local communities who have fallen, enabling patients as much as possible to be assisted in their own home, without the need to attend hospital. Additionally, falls trained volunteers will be able to provide access for patients to local support services and care pathways, linking them to the right resources to limit future falls or possible injury.

Furthermore, the funds will support ten new CFR roving cars, all fully equipped with falls and CFR response kit and fully trained falls volunteers. This will provide a mobile resource within communities to attend patients in a much wider geographic area. The scheme will also enable the upskilling of volunteers to support providing the right care, in the right place for patients where attendance to hospital is not necessary, often through falls and low acuity calls. The scheme will also assist frontline ambulance crews in providing emergency cover in areas of high demand.

This generous investment in community response will proactively support local communities and will provide the ability to increase the capability and capacity of existing CFR groups.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “As the national, independent charity caring for the NHS, we were delighted to work with East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds to provide additional support and enhance the role of our amazing Community First Responders.

“Thanks to incredible support from the public, our funding continues to create vital health benefits for communities across the UK, during the most challenging time in the NHS’ history. We look forward to continuing our work with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds and other organisations to help the NHS go further for everyone.”

The project is being led by Lorna Hayes, Head of Community Response at East of England Ambulance Service. Lorna said: “Thanks to NHS Charities Together, this grant provides us with the opportunity to continue to support our volunteer Community First Responders to develop their role in the local community and enhance the care of vulnerable patients, especially those who have fallen, assisting them in remaining within their community setting through early access to assistance, and reducing the number of patients who require hospital admission following a fall.  This grant will not only make a difference to 1000s’ of patients, but also recognises the valuable role our volunteers provide within the care of patients in their local communities.”

Neville Hounsome, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds Committee added: “The Trust is delighted to have been granted such a large fund to support the wonderful work of our local volunteers working with patients in the community. We hope to build on this success to provide further funding for staff and volunteers which otherwise would not be able to be funded via core NHS Budgets.”

These initiatives will be supported by a new project support officer post, to assist in delivery and project management of the schemes.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds operates for the benefit of staff, volunteers, and the local communities in the east of England, providing enhancements to welfare and amenities, including training equipment and materials, care packages and wellbeing spaces, in addition to equipping and supporting CFR groups across the east of England region.

Find out more about East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds on the EEAST website.

NHS Charities Together is the national independent charity caring for the NHS. Visit the NHS Charities Together website to learn more.

  • Summary:

    NHS Charities Together has awarded £508,689 to East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Charitable Funds.