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Community Assistance Team celebrate one year mark


A year ago today the emergency services in North Wales collaborated and launched a new initiative aimed at protecting people in their homes.


The Community Assistance Team has now attended 640 non-injury falls and on 96% of the time this has negate the need for an emergency ambulance to attend, freeing up over 900 hours for paramedics to be able to attend other emergencies.


The pilot has been running in Conwy and Denbighshire and also extended into Flintshire and Wrexham during a period of wider system pressures experienced during the winter.


The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of people who need to attend hospital as a result of a fall, thereby reducing the pressure and demands on ambulance and medical services.


The team consists of fully trained staff members, recruited from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service who are equipped to provide a service of excellence and an improved patient experience.


Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are extremely pleased with how this initiative has developed over the last 12 months and are glad that our team have been able to assist over 600 people without having to call the ambulance out.


“The benefits of collaborative working with other emergency and public services are obvious, both in monetary savings and in respect of delivering improved services to our communities.


“By responding as a specialised team to non-injury falls in this way we hope to alleviate some of that pressure as well as provide a much improved service.


During the pilot the team have received training from North Wales Police on how to carry out searches for missing from home as well as offering crime prevention advice whilst at the property.”


Mark Timmins, the Welsh Ambulance Service's Tri-Service Collaboration Lead in North Wales, said: "The Community Assistance Team is a perfect example of how emergency services can work together to improve patient care and community safety.

"Each of the patients are referred for onward support through our falls pathway if appropriate and the team have also provided safe and well checks that include providing target hardening and crime prevention advice."


The initiative is supported by Welsh Government in conjunction with the three emergency services, Denbighshire County Council, Conwy County Borough Council, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Galw Gofal / Care Connect, and North Wales Regional Call Monitoring Service. The service is mobilised through Ambulance Service control, so the public do not need to do anything different than they would have done previously, however if it is appropriate the Community Assistance Team will be deployed instead of an ambulance. This initiative and others has already been recognised at the All Wales Continuous Improvement Community Awards 2016 in the ‘Collaboration’ category that celebrated the success of the Tri Service Prevent and Respond Project Team.


As a result of the success achieved during the first year, the Service is attempting to secure the necessary funding to continue and roll out this valuable response service across North Wales.

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