The North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside. We became a Foundation Trust in November 2011 and are one of ten ambulance services in England, covering an area of around 3,230 square miles. We serve a population of more than 2.71 million people and employ more than 2,700 staff including our valued volunteers.
We provide an Unscheduled Care service to respond to 999 calls (the emergency element of our services), and a Scheduled Care service which provides pre-planned non-emergency transport for patients in the region (our patient transport service).
Under our innovative Clinical Care & Transport business model the Unscheduled and Scheduled Care services work in partnership, enabling us to more effectively match patient acuity to the skills of our staff with the aim of enhancing clinical outcomes and improving patient experience.
We operate the NHS 111 and Integrated Urgent Care services for the region, with our new five-year contract having commenced in October 2018. Operating both the 111 and 999 service enables us to seamlessly ensure that patients receive the most appropriate response for their condition.
We also deliver specialist response services through our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). HART units are made up of specially trained paramedics who deal with major incidents. Our front-line services are delivered from 55 stations across the North East region.
We have delivered the NHS111 service across the region since 2013. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping patients who need medical help fast but do not need to call 999. The service has developed over the years to provide patients with greater access to a range of clinicians for advice and support. We have been able to demonstrate how this service can run alongside the 999 service to provide a seamless access point for patients. The NHS111 service also incorporates our Clinical Assessment Service (CAS), bringing together a range of clinicians with differing specialities such as advanced practitioners, GPs and pharmacists to help patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs.
We also provide out-of-hours services in North Tees and South Tyneside areas in conjunction with local partners. During 2019/20 we also launched a number of new services including a GP home visiting pilot in North Tyneside, a community paramedic project in Berwick-upon-Tweed and a new complex lifting service to support our bariatric patients.
In addition to our front line services, the Trust wholly owns its subsidiary North East Ambulance Service Unified Solutions (NEASUS). 2019/20 represents the second full year of operation for NEASUS which is a fleet services and fleet management company. NEASUS is contracted by the Trust to maintain, fit, service, clean and repair Trust vehicles.
We are currently led by a Trust Board which is made up of the Chairman, Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors, including the Chief Executive. As a Foundation Trust, we have a Council of Governors of 35 members being 21 publicly-elected, 4 staff-elected and 10 appointed from key partner organisations.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the way in which we deliver our services and care to patients, as well as the way in which we support and look after our staff. In terms of looking ahead, COVID-19 is set to be with us for some time to come, and although we hope that the spread is slowed and contained quickly, realistically the road ahead will still be challenging for us all. We continue to scenario plan and prepare whilst also looking ahead to our ‘new normal’ and the review and rebuild process for North East Ambulance Service.
Transport to Treatment
What does it mean to be a Foundation Trust?
NHS Foundation Trusts were first introduced in April 2004. They were created to allow decisions to be made by local organisations and communities which are free from central government control and able to decide how best to spend the Trust’s income, taking into account the needs of the local community.
They have financial freedom and can raise capital from both the public and private sectors within borrowing limits, determined by projected cash flows, and are therefore based on affordability. They can retain financial surpluses to invest in the delivery of new NHS services.
Foundation Trusts are accountable to the communities they serve and local people can become members or Governors. Each NHS Foundation Trust has a duty to consult and involve its Council of Governors – including patients, staff, members of the public, and partner organisations – in the strategic planning of the organisation.
There are no limits to how many members we can have as a Foundation Trust, anyone who is over 16 years old and lives in the North East region can join. The Trust has a membership of around 9,300 people drawn from across the region, alongside staff membership of around 2,700 people.
Ambulance Trusts and Foundation Trusts in England
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Site Map