Recent Submissions

  • Variation in ambulance pre-alert process and practice: Cross-sectional survey of ambulance clinicians

    Coster, Joanne; Sampson, Fiona; O'Hara, Rachel; Long, Jaqui; Bell, Fiona; Goodacre, Steve (2023-12-15)
  • Ambulance service recognition of health inequalities and activities for reduction: an evidence and gap map of the published literature

    Byrne, Rachel; Bell, Fiona; Crabtree, Ruth; Wilson, Caitlin; Miller, Elisha; Byrne, Rachel (2024-06-01)
    Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) are often patients’ first point of contact for urgent and emergency care needs. Patients are triaged over the phone and may receive an ambulance response, with potential conveyance to the hospital. A recent scoping review suggested disparities in EMS patient care in the United States. However, it is unknown how health inequalities impact EMS care in other developed countries and how inequalities are being addressed. Objectives: This rapid evidence map of published literature aims to map known health inequalities in EMS patients and describe interventions reducing health inequalities in EMS patient care. Methods: The search strategy consisted of EMS synonyms and health inequality synonyms. The MEDLINE/PubMed database was searched from 1 January 2010 to 26 July 2022. Studies were included if they described empirical research exploring health inequalities within ambulance service patient care. Studies were mapped on to the EMS care interventions framework and Core20PLUS5 framework. Studies evaluating interventions were synthesised using the United Kingdom Allied Health Professions Public Health Strategic Framework. Results: The search strategy yielded 771 articles, excluding duplicates, with two more studies added from hand searches. One hundred studies met the inclusion criteria after full-text review. Inequalities in EMS patient care were predominantly situated in assessment, treatment and conveyance, although triage and response performance were also represented. Studies mostly explored EMS health inequalities within ethnic minority populations, populations with protected characteristics and the core issue of social deprivation. Studies evaluating interventions reducing health inequalities (n = 5) were from outside the United Kingdom and focused on older patients, ethnic minorities and those with limited English proficiency. Interventions included community paramedics, awareness campaigns, dedicated language lines and changes to EMS protocols. Conclusions: Further UK-based research exploring health inequalities of EMS patients would support ambulance service policy and intervention development to reduce health inequality in urgent and emergency care delivery. Abstract published with permission.
  • Supporting the ambulance service to safely convey fewer patients to hospital by developing a risk prediction tool: Risk of Adverse Outcomes after a Suspected Seizure (RADOSS) - protocol for the mixed-methods observational RADOSS project

    Noble, Adam; Mason, Suzanne M.; Bonnett, Laura J; Reuber, Markus; Wright, Jasmine; Pilbery, Richard; Jacques, Richard; Simpson, Rebecca; Campbell, Richard; Fuller, Alison; et al. (BMJ, 2022-11-14)
    Introduction Ambulances services are asked to further reduce avoidable conveyances to emergency departments (EDs). Risk of Adverse Outcomes after a Suspected Seizure seeks to support this by: (1) clarifying the risks of conveyance and non-conveyance, and (2) developing a risk prediction tool for clinicians to use 'on scene' to estimate the benefits an individual would receive if conveyed to ED and risks if not. Methods and analysis Mixed-methods, multi-work package (WP) project. For WP1 and WP2 we shall use an existing linked data set that tracks urgent and emergency care (UEC) use of persons served by one English regional ambulance service. Risk tools are specific to clinical scenarios. We shall use suspected seizures in adults as an exemplar. WP1: Form a cohort of patients cared for a seizure by the service during 2019/2020. It, and nested Knowledge Exchange workshops with clinicians and service users, will allow us to: determine the proportions following conveyance and non-conveyance that die and/or recontact UEC system within 3 (/30) days; quantify the proportion of conveyed incidents resulting in 'avoidable ED attendances' (AA); optimise risk tool development; and develop statistical models that, using information available 'on scene', predict the risk of death/recontact with the UEC system within 3 (/30) days and the likelihood of an attendance at ED resulting in an AA. WP2: Form a cohort of patients cared for a seizure during 2021/2022 to 'temporally' validate the WP1 predictive models. WP3: Complete the 'next steps' workshops with stakeholders. Using nominal group techniques, finalise plans to develop the risk tool for clinical use and its evaluation. Ethics and dissemination WP1a and WP2 will be conducted under database ethical approval (IRAS 307353) and Confidentiality Advisory Group (22/CAG/0019) approval. WP1b and WP3 have approval from the University of Liverpool Central Research Ethics Committee (11450). We shall engage in proactive dissemination and knowledge mobilisation to share findings with stakeholders and maximise evidence usage. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
  • Mixed-methods feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial of a paramedic-administered breathlessness management intervention for acute-on-chronic breathlessness (BREATHE): study findings.

    Hutchinson, Ann; Allgar, Victoria; Cohen, Judith; Currow, David C.; Griffin, Susan; Hart, Simon; Hird, Kelly; Hodge, Andrew; Mason, Suzanne; Northgraves, Matthew; et al. (2022-11)
  • Predictors, effects and missed opportunities of feedback to emergency ambulance staff: a mixed-methods diary study

    Wilson, Caitlin; Budworth, Luke; Janes, Gillian; Lawton, Rebecca; Benn, Jonathan (2023)
  • The SINEPOST study

    Miles, Jamie; Jacques, Richard; Campbell, Richard; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne (2023-06-23)
  • Novel moving, handling and extraction simulation for students in a soft play area

    McKenzie, John W. B.; Horne, Emma; Smith, Benjamin; Tapson, Ella R.; Whitley, Gregory (2023)
    Background: Emergency medical services often have to extricate patients from their location and take them to an ambulance. High-quality training is required to ensure patient and staff safety during moving, handling and extrication manoeuvres. This study aimed to determine student satisfaction and self-confidence regarding what they had learnt after a novel moving, handling and extrication simulation exercise in a children's soft play area. Methods: A mixed-methods cross-sectional survey was adopted, using the validated Student Satisfaction and Self-Confidence in Learning survey tool. Qualitative data were collected from an open question for additional comments. Student paramedics and student emergency medical technicians from one higher education institution completed four time-limited scenarios, each of which involved moving an immobile patient away from their environment. Descriptive statistics were determined for the participant characteristics and survey responses. Thematic analysis was performed on the qualitative data. Results: The student participants were aged 18–47 years and the majority were women. They were satisfied with both their learning and their self-confidence in what they had learnt after the simulation event, and felt their communication and teamwork skills had improved. They enjoyed the event more than classroom-based simulation. While they felt the simulation was realistic, suggestions were made to make it more so. Conclusion: Use of a children's soft play area for a moving, handling and extrication simulation provided student satisfaction and self-confidence in learning. Abstract published with permission.
  • Prehospital early warning scores for adults with suspected sepsis: retrospective diagnostic cohort study

    Goodacre, Steve; Sutton, Laura; Thomas, Ben; Hawksworth, Olivia; Iftikhar, Khurram; Croft, Susan; Fuller, Gordon; Waterhouse, Simon; Hind, Daniel; Bradburn, Mike; et al. (2023-11)
    Background Ambulance services need to identify and prioritise patients with sepsis for early hospital assessment. We aimed to determine the accuracy of early warning scores alongside paramedic diagnostic impression to identify sepsis that required urgent treatment. Methods We undertook a retrospective diagnostic cohort study involving adult emergency medical cases transported to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals ED by Yorkshire Ambulance Service in 2019. We used routine ambulance service data to calculate 21 early warning scores and categorise paramedic diagnostic impressions as sepsis, infection, non-specific presentation or other presentation. We linked cases to hospital records and identified those meeting the sepsis-3 definition who received urgent hospital treatment for sepsis (reference standard). Analysis determined the accuracy of strategies that combined early warning scores at varying thresholds for positivity with paramedic diagnostic impression. Results We linked 12 870/24 955 (51.6%) cases and identified 348/12 870 (2.7%) with a positive reference standard. None of the strategies provided sensitivity greater than 0.80 with positive predictive value greater than 0.15. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the National Early Warning Score, version 2 (NEWS2) applied to patients with a diagnostic impression of sepsis or infection was 0.756 (95% CI 0.729, 0.783). No other early warning score provided clearly superior accuracy to NEWS2. Paramedic impression of sepsis or infection had sensitivity of 0.572 (0.519, 0.623) and positive predictive value of 0.156 (0.137, 0.176). NEWS2 thresholds of >4, >6 and >8 applied to patients with a diagnostic impression of sepsis or infection, respectively, provided sensitivities and positive predictive values of 0.522 (0.469, 0.574) and 0.216 (0.189, 0.245), 0.447 (0.395, 0.499) and 0.274 (0.239, 0.313), and 0.314 (0.268, 0.365) and 0.333 (0.284, 0.386). Conclusion No strategy is ideal but using NEWS2 alongside paramedic diagnostic impression of infection or sepsis could identify one-third to half of sepsis cases without prioritising unmanageable numbers. No other score provided clearly superior accuracy to NEWS2. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
  • Which patients receive a prealert? Analysis of linked data in three ambulance services

    Sampson, Fiona; Pilbery, Richard; Herbert, Esther; Bell, Fiona; Rosser, Andy; Spaight, Rob; Goodacre, Steve; Pountney, Andy; Millins, Mark (2023)
  • Delivery of public health interventions by the ambulance sector: a scoping review

    Ablard, Suzanne; Miller, Esther; Poulton, Steven; Cantrell, Anna; Booth, Andrew; Lee, Andrew; Mason, Suzanne; Bell, Fiona (2023-10-24)
  • Modelling NHS 111 demand for primary care services: a discrete event simulation

    Pilbery, Richard; Smith, Madeline; Green, Jonathan; Chalk, Daniel; O'Keeffe, Colin (BMJ, 2023)
  • Types and effects of feedback for emergency ambulance staff: a systematic mixed studies review and meta-analysis

    Wilson, Caitlin; Janes, Gillian; Lawton, Rebecca; Benn, Jonathan
    BACKGROUND: Extensive research has been conducted into the effects of feedback interventions within many areas of healthcare, but prehospital emergency care has been relatively neglected. Exploratory work suggests that enhancing feedback and follow-up to emergency medical service (EMS) staff might provide staff with closure and improve clinical performance. Our aim was to summarise the literature on the types of feedback received by EMS professionals and its effects on the quality and safety of patient care, staff well-being and professional development. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis, including primary research studies of any method published in peer-reviewed journals. Studies were included if they contained information on systematic feedback to emergency ambulance staff regarding their performance. Databases searched from inception were MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, PsycINFO, HMIC, CINAHL and Web of Science, with searches last updated on 2 August 2022. Study quality was appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Data analysis followed a convergent integrated design involving simultaneous narrative synthesis and random effects multilevel meta-analyses. RESULTS: The search strategy yielded 3183 articles, with 48 studies meeting inclusion criteria after title/abstract screening and full-text review. Interventions were categorised as audit and feedback (n=31), peer-to-peer feedback (n=3), postevent debriefing (n=2), incident-prompted feedback (n=1), patient outcome feedback (n=1) or a combination thereof (n=4). Feedback was found to have a moderate positive effect on quality of care and professional development with a pooled effect of d=0.50 (95% CI 0.34, 0.67). Feedback to EMS professionals had large effects in improving documentation (d=0.73 (0.00, 1.45)) and protocol adherence (d=0.68 (0.12, 1.24)), as well as small effects in enhancing cardiac arrest performance (d=0.46 (0.06, 0.86)), clinical decision-making (d=0.47 (0.23, 0.72)), ambulance times (d=0.43 (0.12, 0.74)) and survival rates (d=0.22 (0.11, 0.33)). The between-study heterogeneity variance was estimated at σ(2)=0.32 (95% CI 0.22, 0.50), with an I(2) value of 99% (95% CI 98%, 99%), indicating substantial statistical heterogeneity. CONCLUSION: This review demonstrated that the evidence base currently does not support a clear single point estimate of the pooled effect of feedback to EMS staff as a single intervention type due to study heterogeneity. Further research is needed to provide guidance and frameworks supporting better design and evaluation of feedback interventions within EMS. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020162600. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. DOI
  • SWAP: Promoting Staff Wellbeing in UK NHS Ambulance Personnel - Final Report - December 2021

    Sanderson, Kristy; Phung, Viet-Hai; Pritchard, Gary; Asghar, Zahid; Wankhade, Paresh; Bell, Fiona; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Hird, Kelly (2021-12)
  • An analysis of NHS 111 demand for primary care service

    Pilbery, Richard; Smith, Madeleine; Green, Jonathan; Chalk, Daniel; O'Keeffe, Colin (2023)

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