Covid Sheffield: Military to help Yorkshire Ambulance Service with non-emergency cases

The military has been called in to help Yorkshire Ambulance Service as it continues to deal with operational challenges worsened by Covid-19.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:26 am
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:26 am

The trust said its request for aid had been accepted and 40 military staff will support its clinicians by assisting with the transportation of patients with less urgent needs.

They will be available to work alongside colleagues from Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) to transfer patients between hospitals and assist with their non-emergency patient transport service, conveying the most vulnerable patients for life-saving treatments and transporting patients discharged from hospital.

The military personnel will begin training with YAS from January 18 and will be working with patients within two weeks. They will then be working with the trust for a number of weeks.

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A total of 40 military personnel will be supporting YAS clinicians by assisting with the transportation of patients with less urgent needs, enabling the Trust to make more efficient use of its emergency resources.

Nick Smith, the trust’s executive director of operations, said, “Like all other ambulance, health and community services across the country, we are experiencing operational pressures which are exacerbated by Covid-19 related absence.

“Our dedicated staff are doing their best to respond as quickly as possible to all 999 calls, but we acknowledge that some patients are having to wait longer for an ambulance response.

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"As part of our resilience planning, we have always had the option of making a request to the military for help and we have now asked for that assistance.

“We will be able to use military personnel to work alongside our staff, enabling us to support patients and get people the treatment they need sooner.

"This, in turn, will free up our staff to attend to serious and life-threatening cases. Military staff will work alongside a YAS colleague and attend minor cases, hospital transfers and discharges only.

“They will receive YAS training in driving ambulances, manual handling, kit familiarisation and basic life support, similar to the standards of the trust’s patient transport service staff who have also been supporting the emergency service throughout the pandemic.

"They will enable paramedics to accompany patients, whose condition is not deemed to be serious, in the back of vehicles while being driven to or from hospitals.”

Nick also assured the members of the public that the emergency service remains fully operational and anyone who needs its assistance for life-threatening or serious emergencies should continue to call 999.