New triage tool is proving useful to assess patients

North West Ambulance Service
North West Ambulance Service
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A pair of paramedics have developed a brand new way for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to work with nursing and residential homes to help residents to get the most appropriate care more quickly.

Staff at nursing and residential homes can now be trained by NWAS to use the ‘Nursing and Residential Triage Tool’ to determine themselves whether a patient requires an emergency ambulance or it would be more appropriate for them to be cared for by a GP or urgent care service.

Specialising in working in the community, Paramedic, Mark Wenman found that in 2016 11.1% of all 999 emergencies in the West Lancashire area were callouts to nursing and residential homes, and of these jobs, 22% did not require hospital treatment. Mark enlisted the help of Triage Development and Evaluation Paramedic, Steph Allmark and started looking into a way to find these patients more appropriate care.

The tool works by allowing carers, who have prior knowledge of the patient’s health needs, to look at the symptoms being presented and using the tool to find the most appropriate care.

Using the tool has proven successful in trials and has reduced 999 calls to nursing and residential homes by over 50% in some cases.