Physician Response Unit treating two thirds of emergency patients

A unique collaboration between London’s Air Ambulance, Barts Health NHS Trust and London Ambulance Service has seen 67 per cent of patients treated and discharged at home, avoiding the necessity of hospital visits.

The remodelled Physician Response Unit (PRU) has led to estimated overall savings for local health services of £410,938 by taking the emergency department on the road and to the patient, and preventing avoidable hospital trips.

The clinical experience of the medics enables the PRU team to treat a wider range of illnesses and injuries at scene compared to ambulance crews which take many emergency patients to hospital. Of 652 patients treated by the PRU during its first 111 days of extended service 449 patients were treated in the community.

Additionally, patients have been overwhelmingly positive about being able to receive a specialist medical consultation in their own home.

Malik Ramadhan, Divisional Director of Emergency Care and Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “The PRU has made a real difference in ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate care, meaning that only those who need to be in the Emergency Department are taken to hospital. It is vital that we look at innovative ways of caring for the ever increasing number of emergency patients coming through the doors, and effective use of the Emergency Department is important in enabling the rest of the hospital to flow efficiently. It’s also fantastic that patients have responded so well to the service.”

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