06 September 2018 - Recognition for scheme to reduce unnecessary A&E visits A scheme to reduce unnecessary visits to A&E has been shortlisted for a HSJ Award. North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust has joined colleagues from Rochdale Care Organisation, part of The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which is made up of Salford Royal and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, to operate a specialist resource in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale to identify and attend patients who could possibly benefit from alternative care in the community as opposed to an unnecessary trip to A&E. After huge success, the Heywood Middleton and Rochdale Emergency Assessment and Treatment Team (HEATT) has now been shortlisted to receive a HSJ Award in the category of ‘Improvement in Emergency and Urgent Care’. Made up of an NWAS clinician and a nurse practitioner from Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) Community Services, the team is able to triage and visit patients from existing 999 calls who are not in an immediately life-threatening condition and may benefit more from alternative help to an emergency ambulance. The team attended almost 1,000 patients last year, 90% of which were able to receive alternative care to A&E. The scheme has now been expanded from five days a week to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Marie Gamlin, Operations Manager for NWAS, said: “This partnership has been a real success and has meant that patients are able to receive the care that they need in the comfort of their own home rather than making an unnecessary trip to A&E, something which can have a huge impact on the health of vulnerable patients. “It also means that ambulances can be kept free to attend immediately life-threatening patients. “Being recognised by the HSJ is a huge honour and we’re really excited to be able represent NWAS through this excellent local scheme.” The team will now present to a judging panel of senior and influential figures from the health sector and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Intercontinental London The O2 on 21 November. Steve Taylor, Chief Officer at Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation said: “We are delighted to have made the shortlist in the HSJ Awards. This team is dedicated to saving lives and improving lives and it is fantastic to see the hard work of staff being recognised. Fingers crossed that they are announced as winners.” Patients can also be referred by the local urgent community care team and specialist equipment is used to assess each person’s specific needs and find the most appropriate avenue of care.