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News archive | SARH First Responders save Stafford ambulance service over £18,000
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SARH First Responders save Stafford ambulance service over £18,000

A pilot scheme providing emergency first aid assistance for over 7,000 customers in Stafford has saved the local ambulance service over £18,000.

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has recruited four new ‘First Responders’ to its Telecare team to attend emergency calls received through the 24 hour Customer Call Centre, where first aid is more appropriate than calling an ambulance.

Karen Foster, Telecare Business Development Manager for SARH, said: “The service is there for those times when a customer does not need an ambulance, but does need a well-trained and competent responder who can get to them quickly and deal with the problem without them having to go into hospital.

“The Response Service is not a replacement for an ambulance.  If you are injured then an ambulance will come to help you.”

The You First Responder service is two months into a four month pilot by SARH in partnership with the Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group.

The new You First Responder team membershave been fully trained by SARH in first aid and provide assistance seven days a week with their own dedicated vehicle, first aid equipment and a defibrillator unit.

Each call to an ambulance costs the health service about £337, and on average about 67 calls a month where ambulance services do attend could have been dealt with by a First Responder service.

These include trips or falls where the customer cannot get back up unassisted, but are unharmed, and welfare checks if the customer does not respond after their Lifeline alarm is activated.

During the first 6 weeks the first responders have attended 62 calls where an ambulance would previously have been called first, of these only six required an ambulance and the first responder stayed with them until they attended.

The first responders also carried out 56 welfare and prevention visits after lifeline alarms were triggered.

The total saving for ambulance services over this period is £18,872.

“We already filter the calls we receive, and there are still occasions where an ambulance really isn’t the most appropriate action yet our standard response is to call for paramedics. Those Customers who are not badly injured can sometimes find an ambulance quite daunting and they worry about being taken to hospital” said Karen Foster.

“The First Responders will be familiar faces offering comfort, dignity and peace of mind.”

SARH’s You First Service connects more than 7,000 people through a range of assistive technology to the 24 hour Customer Call Centre, helping customers remain independent in their own homes.

For more details on SARH’s Telecare service  call 0800 111 4334.

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