Improving Ambulance Services

Ambulance services are at the heart of the urgent and emergency care system.

Over the past two years the NHS has introduced new ambulance standards to ensure the best, most appropriate response is provided for each patient first time.

Our aim is that by 2021 all ambulance services will:

  • Meet all targets and deliver all patient outcomes;
  • Be efficient and effective;
  • Have a satisfied, happy and productive workforce;
  • Be integrated into the wider Urgent & Emergency Care System;
  • Be digitally fit for the future.

Ambulance services are changing to work in different ways.  This means that patients are treated by skilled paramedics in their own home, given advice over the telephone or taken to a more appropriate setting outside hospital. You can watch our short film on some of the ways in which ambulance services are changing.

But there is always more to do.  We continue to support commissioners and ambulance services to make a series of improvements, including:

  • Delivering a safe reduction in ambulance conveyance, which means that patients are only taken to hospital if that’s the right place for them;
  • Making sure that no one arriving by ambulance should wait more than 30 minutes from arrival to handover to a clinician at hospital;
  • Supporting ambulance services to meet response time standards, as set out in the Ambulance Quality Indicators;
  • Development of an Ambulance Data Set so we can better understand and support improved delivery of patient care, and identify opportunities for system improvement;
  • Implementation of the Lord Carter recommendations, following his review into ambulance services.