The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has published its 2016-17 Annual Report, highlighting the continuing significant pressures on UK ambulance services and detailing what the organisation has been doing on behalf of its members during the past year to combat these challenges.
Relentless demand for services and the introduction of new ambulance response standards, combined with the potential workforce issues caused by BREXIT and the significant pressures on the health and wellbeing of our ambulance staff are just some of the key issues covered by the report.
In the face of these pressures AACE has worked tirelessly at a national level with both NHS England and NHS Improvement, to focus on how we achieve long term sustainability for the ambulance sector, better integration within the NHS system and improved care for our patients.
The National Audit Office (NAO) conducted a review of the ambulance service in England, and their January 2017 report identified and made recommendations on many of the issues AACE has been raising in recent years that require strategic action and engagement from system-wide leadership if ambulance trusts are to continue to develop and provide the highest possible levels of care they have become world renowned for.
Working with our member services we have prioritised efforts that will support and develop ambulance staff as well as increase diversity and equality within our workforce. As ever, our aim during 2016/17 was to ensure that ambulance services share their knowledge and best practice to better meet the emerging challenges and opportunities facing all ambulance services.
Our strategic priorities for 2016/17 covered five themes:
1) Efficient working at a system level
2) Operating model & demand
3) Patient safety & quality of care
4) Workforce, education & development
5) Meeting & managing expectations