South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, (SECAmb), and its partners are trialling the co-location of teams within a local hub to provide additional support to ambulance crews.

The hub, located at a Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) site next to Maidstone Hospital, will be trialled from this week for a period of four weeks.

It will consist of SECAmb Paramedic Practitioners, (PPs), as well as clinicians from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) and urgent care teams, including the Home Treatment Service, at KCHFT.

The hub is developing systems already in place to support joint decision making between ambulance crews, multi-disciplinary teams and patients. The hub will work with crews to decide whether a patient requires transport to the emergency departments at Maidstone or Tunbridge Wells hospitals or could receive more appropriate treatment from an equivalent community service.

SECAmb’s PPs will be joined in the hub by an ED consultant, clinicians from Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) and specialists from KCHFT’s community services.

SECAmb PP and Practice Development Lead, Sean Edwards said: “The aim of the hub is to ensure patients get the right care, in the right place, first time. It’s there to support colleagues, if required, as part of their decision-making process.

“By calling the hub, they are able to speak to one of the clinicians and discuss the best options for their patient, be it attending an Emergency Department, an Urgent Treatment Centre, SDEC or being referred to a specialist community team.

“Following the trial, we will jointly evaluate the data collected to understand the impact this trial has had on staff, patients and our collaborative partners”.