Review of urgent and emergency care clinical standards: AACE response

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) is a membership organisation that represents all UK NHS ambulance services.  The majority of AACE’s members provide either all, or a proportion, of 111 and patient transport services across their region as well as 999 services.

AACE welcomes the opportunity to respond to the final recommendations on the urgent and emergency care (UEC) standards from the Clinically-led Review of NHS Standards (CRS).

This response has been developed in conjunction with the ten NHS ambulance services in England with input from chief executives, medical directors, quality and risk directors, operations directors, strategy and transformation directors and others.  Trusts will also be submitting their own direct responses to the consultation.

We are supportive of the outlined intention to consider the patient journey in its entirety rather than primarily focus on care provided in the acute setting.  As a sector, we welcome the opportunities this offers to improve patient flow and service user experience through a system-focused approach.

Given the role the ambulance service plays in the significant majority of patient journeys, through either 999 or 111, we occupy a unique position to advise on demand trends, patient flow, pathways, gaps in service provision and local variation.  We were surprised that neither AACE nor the College of Paramedics were invited to contribute to the review.

We are, however, very keen to respond directly to the consultation questions posed and to offer our ongoing support to NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) throughout the remainder of this process to ensure the measures relating to the ambulance service, as well as the UEC system in its entirety, are realistic and meaningful.

Read our full response to the consultation here.