Doctors, nurses and senior leaders join ambulance crews on the road to help reduce delays for patients

9th October 2023

Doctors, nurses and health and social care leaders are jumping on board ambulances in Norfolk and Waveney to bring new eyes to the fight to end delays for patients.

The teams will join colleagues at East of England Ambulance Service Trust this week as they carry out their work to better understand the issues behind delays for patients – and help identify ways to resolve them.

As part of work to reduce delays across Norfolk and Waveney, EEAST acting chief operating officer Melissa Dowdeswell invited health and care professionals to join EEAST team members on clinical shifts.

Working with the EEAST team they’ll be able to see how barriers at each part of a patients’ journey – from the ambulance call, to getting into A&E and through to diagnosis and treatment – can contribute to delays.

The new approach means ambulance crews, hospital liaison officers in emergency departments, and dispatch and clinical teams at the ambulance control centre in Norwich will team up with senior nurses, accident and emergency consultants, and senior health and social care leaders this week.

EEAST CEO Tom Abell said: “We want to do everything we can to end delays for patients and speed up the handover from an ambulance to being treated in hospitals – because every minute matters for our patients.

“We’re working closely with our hospitals to do this, but we wanted to throw the ambulance doors open and ask nurses, doctors and consultants to join our colleagues and see if they can help identify new solutions.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Norfolk and Waveney said: “Staff from right across our health and care system are working extremely hard to provide the best care for our patients, in a timely way. We’re keen to hear their ideas and experience an average shift for ourselves. 

“We will be joining the crew with an open mind and a solution-focused approach to how our health and care system can work together to ultimately reduce delays for local people, as well as ensuring better outcomes and experiences for our residents, staff and communities.”