Urgent Care Transport Service celebrates third anniversary

Urgent Care Transport Service celebrates third anniversary

Two female Urgent Care Assistants stood on vehicle

The service introduced to support our patients, Emergency Operations Centre staff and emergency ambulance crews is celebrating its third anniversary on 3 April.

Since its inception in 2018, the Urgent Care Transport Service (UCTS) has gone from strength to strength, helping to reduce delays for patients by transporting those who require urgent admission to hospital but do not need on-going ambulance treatment on the way.

Often these patients are referred to our service via a healthcare professional who has spoken to or seen the patient, and has determined that they need to go to hospital, but not necessarily in an emergency ambulance.

In the last three years, the service has helped over 75,000 patients across the region helping them get the treatment they need, in turn reducing the pressure on our frontline crews allowing them to get to the most poorly patients quicker. In the 2020-21 period alone, they have helped over 26,000 patients.

David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations at East Midlands Ambulance Service said:

“It has been great to see how far our Urgent Care Transport Service has come in such a short space of time. Our UCTS colleagues are an important and integral part of our accident and emergency service and that really shows with our improved response to our patients over the last three years.

“We have been working closely with our Urgent Care teams to develop and highlight areas of improvement for the service, and the recent ideas received from our colleagues will help to improve the care we give to our patients going forward.

“They are a great team.”

Headshots of Shannon, Chris and Oliver Urgent Care Assistants in uniform
Left to right: Shannon Holmes, Chris Kilby and Oliver Sharratt

Meet the people behind our Urgent Care Transport Service

As our Urgent Care Transport Service celebrates its third anniversary this weekend, we meet some of the faces behind the service who attend our patients across the East Midlands.

Shannon Holmes, 25 is an Urgent Care Assistant based in Stapleford and is one of our original UCA’s from 2018 when the service was born.

Starting in an apprentice role with EMAS in 2015, Shannon saw the UCA role as a chance to continue her progression through the service and join the frontline in a patient facing role.

She said: “Following my A Levels I decided I wanted to follow a different route rather than going to university, which led me to my apprenticeship through EMAS.I then moved onto an admin role with a view to working in our Emergency Operations Centre but when the Urgent Care role came up, it was a chance to get experience on the frontline, hands-on helping those patients in need.

“I have gained so much valuable experience and skills working as a UCA and I have really seen the benefit the service has to those patients who need us. After three years in the role, the skills and experience I have gained will help me as I progress towards becoming a trainee ambulance technician from 12 April. I can’t wait to start the next step of my career journey!”

After working in the leisure industry in Leicestershire for a number of years, Chris Kilby, 47, decided he wanted to try something different. Working as an Urgent Care Assistant for the last two years, Chris is thoroughly enjoying his role getting out and about across the region and meeting patients.

Chris started his career at EMAS in our Patient Transport Services in 2017 and when the chance arose to move over to Emergency Care, he jumped at the opportunity.

Chris said: “I absolutely love my job as an Urgent Care Assistant because no day is the same and no patient is either.

“To be able to provide the reassurance and care to a patient when they really need it is so important, especially more recently during the pandemic when the anxiety has been heightened.

“My role in PTS was very much focused around the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire areas. Working in the Urgent Care service has given me the chance to visit different areas across the region and speak to crews which only builds on that good working relationship and partnership working.

“The UCA role is always developing with so much to offer and I would recommend it to anyone looking to join EMAS.”

For Oliver Sharratt, working at Network Rail was a world away from working on the frontline for the ambulance service in the East Midlands. Wanting a change in career and a new direction in life, he applied for the Urgent Care role in 2018 to become one of the first Urgent Care Assistants for EMAS.

He said: “I was at a point in my life where I wanted a change and something that felt rewarding. When the UCA role came up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity which ticked the boxes.

“I feel like this role gives so many different opportunities and challenges to solve every day which is what makes it so interesting. The biggest challenge most recently has been the Coronavirus pandemic and getting to grips with the new way of working at first, but we are now used to this a year on.

“Being in Urgent Care for three years, I am starting to look towards the future and how I can progress from where I am. Three years has absolutely flown by and I will hopefully be looking to advance into the technician role, but who knows what the future holds from there.”