Success Means West Ardnamurchan Emergency Responder Model to Continue

 Thursday 25 July 2013

The Chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), David Garbutt, met with West Ardnamurchan Community Council members in Kilchoan to confirm the Emergency Responder pilot will continue on a permanent basis.

The move follows an evaluation of activity, which shows that the emergency responder team has successfully responded to 56 incidents in the community since it was launched in March 2012.

The unique model of care was established by the SAS in partnership with NHS Highland and the Scottish Centre for Teleheath and Telecare (SCTT).  The team of Emergency Responders comprises an Ambulance Technician and three responders who have been specially trained by SAS. Two additional responders are currently undergoing training and will boost the numbers to six.

As part of the model, a telehealth clinic has been established which will provide a direct link to Aberdeen’s Emergency Care Centre.  This means that Emergency Responders will be able arrange a consultation by video link within minutes and discuss the most appropriate pathway of care, whether that be treatment in the local community, or admission to hospital.

David Garbutt said:
“Our local teams, together with NHS Highland and SCTT, have worked closely with the local community to ensure that the Emergency Responder model is a success and meets their needs. This is clear from the evaluation and I am delighted to confirm that the model of care will continue on a permanent basis and additional responders have now been recruited. 

“The emergency responders are doing a fantastic job, which is recognised within the community. They are also backed up by ambulance crews in Strontian as well as the air ambulance helicopter.”

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "I am committed to ensuring that all communities in Scotland receive safe and sustainable health care services, and the emergency responder scheme in West Ardnamurchan is a fantastic example of how we are looking at innovative ways to provide the best possible healthcare in remote and rural healthcare.

"In January I visited West Ardnamurchan to see this model in action, and I am delighted that the Scottish Ambulance Service will continue to support this important partnership, working closely with the people of West Ardnamurchan, to provide an invaluable service for people living in this area."