Volunteer response car making a difference for Cambridgeshire patients

Date: 13 October 2020

Community First Responders (CFRs) in central Cambridgeshire are trialling the use of a new marked car and patients are already seeing the benefits.

CFRs are volunteers who give their time to support colleagues from the ambulance service and respond to situations within their local community where the ambulance may take longer to arrive than the critical first few minutes. CFRs are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) and would usually use their own vehicles to attend calls, however, the new car which has branded livery is now available for the CFRs to book for a shift and use instead.

Launched in July and based in Huntingdon, the car is also used to respond to calls in St Ives, St Neots, Chatteris, March and Peterborough and is currently on the road for 45 hours every week.

Andy Nightingale, a local CFR, regularly uses the car for one of his shifts. Andy said, ‘The car is a great resource and puts us CFRs directly into areas where there is most need. We average about two jobs per eight hour shift most weeks, and I’ve even been able to be on-scene in only 2-3 minutes for a number of urgent cases. Patients often comment on how quickly help arrived. It’s a very rewarding role, and keeps my skills fresh, as well as allowing me to extend to attending falls too which involves working closely with the clinical advice line team.’

Alex Laurent, Community Response Manager said, ‘We know that being a CFR can be a very different experience depending on the geography of the area you live and we are always looking for ways to help our volunteers fulfil their role in the best possible way. This vehicle is a great asset for our central Cambridgeshire CFRs and is already making a noticeable difference to our patients. As well as dealing with really serious medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests and breathing difficulties, the CFRs who use the vehicle are also responding to patients who have suffered a fall. Out of five recent calls, they were able to treat and discharge four of those falls patients without them needing to attend hospital. This is obviously great news for both our patients and the wider healthcare system.’

The trial is currently due to continue until November, with the hope of introducing the car as a permanent resource afterwards.

If you fancy a new challenge and would like to find out more about becoming a CFR then please visit: https://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/

 

  • Summary:

    Community First Responders (CFRs) in central Cambridgeshire are trialling the use of a new marked car and patients are already seeing the benefits.