Thanks to funding from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund, a new Community Medical Unit has opened its doors to provide additional clinical support at busy locations.
The vehicle will initially be used to provide a static ambulance facility in busy town and city centres on Friday and Saturday evenings and other key dates including bank holidays.
It will also be used to provide support at large-scale events in the region. Staffed by an Emergency Care Practitioner and Emergency Care Assistant, the mobile unit has been developed to incorporate a clinical assessment/treatment area and waiting area for patients. It is equipped to the same level as an ambulance.
It aims to provide on-scene medical treatment for patients with minor injuries and illnesses to free up ambulances to deal with more seriously ill patients and relieve pressure on busy hospital emergency departments.
It is the most significant project to be supported by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund which receives donations and legacies from grateful patients and their families, members of the public and fundraising initiatives throughout Yorkshire.
Commenting, Erfana Mahmood, a Non Executive Director with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Chair of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund Committee, said:
“We are very excited about this new vehicle which can be used to support healthcare initiatives across different communities and make a real difference to people who need care and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses.
“A member of our Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) team has worked extremely hard to get this initiative off the ground and put forward a detailed proposal to obtain the funding required for the vehicle. It is very rewarding to see the idea become a reality thanks to the valuable contributions and fundraising efforts of many people who have come into contact with the ambulance service in some way and wanted to support the work it does.
“Residents will see the Community Medical Unit out and about in busy town and city centres and at large-scale events across the region.
“We very much appreciate the donations which are made to the Charitable Fund and the Community Medical Unit is an excellent example of how these funds can be used to help many people.”
The unit is the second to be donated to the Trust, after Leeds-based charity Barca donated a further vehicle earlier this year.
Mark Law, Chief Executive at Barca added: “Barca-Leeds are delighted to support Yorkshire Ambulance Service by donating a vehicle to be used as a Community Medical Unit and it’s great that two units are now on the road thanks to the further support of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund.
“As a charity delivering many services across Leeds including drug and alcohol treatment, we feel the Community Medical Unit is a valuable facility to have in city centres. This scheme is an excellent example of charities working together to ensure that their assets continue to provide essential services to the people of Leeds and across the county.
“Members of the public who have concerns about their drug use are able to call our single point of contact on 0113 242 1161 and this information will be available on the vehicles.”
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust regularly uses Community Medical Units in Leeds, Sheffield and York on Friday and Saturday evenings and bank holidays.
Patients can self-refer and ambulance clinicians see patients with a minor injury or illness.
Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014 a total of 765 patients were seen at the Leeds location, saving an estimated 351 ambulances which were made available for patients with more serious illnesses and injuries. The most common presenting clinical complaint is a soft tissue injury and the majority of people seen at the unit are male and in the 18-30 age group. A third of patients require an assessment only with a further third requiring an assessment and wound care. The remaining third are also given medication primarily for pain relief and to control infection.