Patients who dialled 999 but received care over the phone rather than having an ambulance sent to them have rated the North East Ambulance Service in an independent survey.
In the first survey of its type, 333 people in the North East region gave their views of ‘Hear and Treat’ services – a ‘999’ service in which trained call handlers give medical advice over the telephone to avoid ambulances and paramedics being sent out when they are not needed.
Patients rated the NEAS with a score of 8.5 out of 10 when asked about the ‘overall’ level of care they received during their time speaking with a call handler.
The survey was conducted by the healthcare regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC) across all ten ambulance services in England, with almost 3,000 patients responding nationwide.
Gerardine Hope, NEAS Assistant Contact Centre Manager said: “The results clearly indicate that we are achieving our aim to manage and deliver patients’ expectations. It helps to celebrate all of the hard work that is given on a daily basis by the specialist operators from our call handling service.
“We are proud that our call operators tend to resolve the general nature of the patient calls, safely, first time around which means the caller doesn’t always need to be transferred to a clinician.”
The CQC survey highlighted the following results of NEAS patients:
Call Handler section
The patient was able to understand the instructions given
Rating: 10 out of 10 (better than other NHS Trusts)
Clinical Advisor section
Which of the following best describes how you feel about the length of time you waited before someone called you back
Rating: 8.4 out of 10 (better than other NHS Trusts)
Following advice – was it possible to follow the advice given?
Rating: 9.2 out of 10 (better than other NHS Trusts)