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Blue light services working together to keep us safe this Christmas


The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) will be joining the Constabulary in the police control room on Wednesday 21 and Friday 23December, which are predicted to be two busy shifts for the emergency services in the lead up to Christmas.

This is the first time an initiative like this has been tried with SWASFT on two dates when we expect to receive over 2,000 calls on each of the days.

The aim of the pilot is to see if working together to prioritise jobs and problem solve can enable more effective use of resources. One of the SWASFT team will sit in the control room to assist with ambulance provision, problem solve and provide advice to the police teams.

Becky Tipper, Avon and Somerset Police control room centre manager said; “This is a good example of how we are trying new, innovative ways of working together across the blue light services to share skills, increase efficiency and improve our service to the public. We hope that this trial provides a foundation for future ways of working.”

Adrian Healey, Head of Tri Service Development, SWASFT said; “Across the South West we are constantly looking at opportunities to work together with our emergency service partners to ensure the public receives the best possible care and response. This innovative pilot will not only ensure that we work even more closely in partnership with our police colleagues,  it will explore a new approach to joint working at times of high demand.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Our emergency services all play a vital part in ensuring our communities are safe and feel safe.  Working together we can better manage demand by prioritising the right service for each call received, while ensuring those who need it get the appropriate care at the first point of contact. 

“Our mental health control room triage service has already shown the benefits that bringing partners together can have.  I have no doubt this innovative approach of having ambulance and police staff working side-by-side in the control room, will make a real difference to those in need over the festive period.”

This new joint working pilot complements the existing Avon and Somerset triage service at Police HQ which involves mental health and the police working together to provide a better, faster response service. In November 2016 alone this service helped with 888 incidents and ensured 93 people could access help from mental health services rather than the police.

Posted on Tuesday 20th December 2016
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