The UL Hospitals Group and the National Ambulance Service have launched a new collaboration which will provide definitive community care to patients in parts of Clare and the Midwest.
The Alternative Pre Hospital Pathway (APP) will see specialist emergency medicine doctors and paramedics responding to low-acuity calls within a forty-five minute radius of the Limerick City call centre.
The Emergency Department at UHL currently receives more ambulances than any other hospital in the country and its envisaged the new service will both improve patient experience times and free up resources for those who are critically ill.
The service which came into effect last month, will operate from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Commenting on the introduction of the service, Dr Damien Ryan, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, and Clinical Director, Urgent and Emergency Care Directorate, UL Hospitals Group, said: “This service will allow Emergency Doctors to attend to patients in the community, who have called for ambulance transport, where their need for hospital care is deemed low. This will potentially obviate the need for that patient to come to hospital. Advice can be provided regarding the most suitable options for further care in the community, if necessary, and in some circumstances care can be provided directly at the scene.”
Niall Murray, General Manager, Area Operations, NAS said: “The National Ambulance Service (NAS) is moving from an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to a Mobile Medical Service (MMS) which aims to deliver the right patient care in the right setting. The Alternative Pre-hospital Pathway (APP) Team is a bespoke model of pre-hospital healthcare delivery which complements the national shift toward integrated community care. Increasing demand for emergency care and an aging population is necessitating a re-design of traditional models of emergency care delivery and the Alternative Pre-Hospital Pathway (APP) Team is one such response.”