The Fylde and Wyre falls car operates as a collaborative between the North West Ambulance Service and Fylde and Wyre CCG.
Manned by a Paramedic and Nurse/Physiotherapist/OT from the local Rapid Response Team. The pilot model started 2 years ago in response to the rising number of 999 calls being received and the recommendations from the Keogh Report (2013) as to how ambulance services should see and treat more patients at home.
It is tasked to 999 calls involving patients over the age of 65 who fall either at home or in public. In 2 years it has attended over 1300 patients and been able to treat over 50% of patients at home keeping the most vulnerable people away from the local emergency department.
Having the Rapid Response Team on board allows rapid access to mobility equipment, social care, respite care and a more relevant multi factorial assessment. The Paramedic can make onward referrals to the local falls management programme, local GP’s and the fire service allowing a patient to be safely cared for in there own home.
For example; A patient falls at home and is unable to get up off the floor. 999 is called and the falls vehicle is deployed. The patient has more rapid access to healthcare due to the dedicated vehicle instead of waiting for an ambulance. The patient is assessed and lifted if safe to do so. Most minor wounds are managed by the falls vehicle nurse or referred to local district nursing teams. A mobility assessment is then carried out and relevant mobility equipment prescribed and collected by the response vehicle. Urine is tested and if concerns local GP’s are liaised with. Any prescriptions issued by the local GP’s are collected and delivered by the falls vehicle. A further referral may be made to the fire service via an online portal and if the patient requires further support they can be referred into the rapid response team for up to 2 weeks follow up assessments and care. Any patient left at home who has the cognitive abilities to understand the local falls management programme dare referred.
The falls car service operates 37.5 hours a week and provides further support and advice to other ambulance crews as well as working locally with the falls management programme and other agencies. Recently the project was shortlisted in the local hospitals awards for Innovation of the year. Although the project did not win it goes to show the dedication of the staff in preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and improving patient safety. The project continues to provide safe care at home for patients who have fallen.