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Just Act – ?50,000 of extra funding for community projects 1 August 2016 >view more A big hello to the Just Act community! Ambulance trusts and services may also undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts.[2] This is an area where an increasing amount of private firms are taking business away from the trusts.
Emergency medical services are provided through local ambulance services, known in England and Wales as trusts. Following consultation, on 1 July 2006, the number of ambulance trusts fell from 29 to 13.[3] The reduction can be seen as part of a trend dating back to 1974, when local authorities ceased to be providers of ambulance services.
Most of the new Trusts follow government office regional boundaries, exceptions to this are the Isle of Wight (where provision will remain with the Island's Primary Care Trust), and South East and South West England which are both split into two Trusts.
Complementing and working alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service is the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service.[9] This unique airborne medical initiative is based at Glasgow City Heliport and, staffed by consultants, uses various air assets to provide patients in remote and rural areas with rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency or intensive care medicine as well as facilitating transfers to larger, better equipped city hospitals. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is the ambulance service that serves the whole of Northern Ireland, and was established in 1995 by parliamentary order.[16] As with other ambulance services in the United Kingdom, it does not charge its patients directly for its services, but instead receives funding through general taxation. Uniquely in the UK, The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust is also responsible for the provision of NHS Direct, a nurse led telephone healthcare service which is provided by a separate Trust in England and by NHS 24 in Scotland. The performance of the Ambulance service is measured by the government, as part of a system called 'ORCON'.[20] The Government's target is to reach 75% of Category A (life threatening) calls within eight minutes, as recorded by the computerised AMPDS. Private ambulance services are becoming more common in the UK,[22] performing a number of roles, including providing medical cover at large events, either alongside, or instead of the voluntary sector providers.


The most common type of private ambulance provider is in the patient transport role, with many trusts and hospitals choosing to outsource this function to a private company, rather than use the NHS service, although the policy differs from trust to trust. Both organisations also provide "reserve" or "support" cover to some, though not all, of the ambulance trusts , dependent on the local MOU, where ambulance crews from one of the organisations (who are usually volunteers, but in some instances may be paid staff) will attend 999, GP Urgent or PTS calls on behalf of the ambulance trust, with the organisation receiving recompense from the trust. The British Association for Immediate Care coordinates voluntary schemes, and individual medical and allied health professionals, providing immediate care throughout the UK.[25] BASICS doctors, for example, may assist ambulance paramedics at the scenes of serious road accident or be on-hand at major sporting events.
There is a network of charities, mainly in various Counties of England, which provide voluntary motorcycle couriers for the National Blood Service and hospitals.[26] An example is the Freewheelers EVS operating in Somerset and surrounding counties.
Airport Rescue and Firefighting Services in the United Kingdom — The provision of Rescue and Firefighting Services at all airports and aerodromes in the United Kingdom is a requirement under both British Law and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Paramedics in the United Kingdom — In the United Kingdom the term paramedic is protected by law and only applies to ambulance practitioners who are able to achieve and maintain the strict standards established by a statutory body.
Healthcare in the United Kingdom — is mainly provided by four publicly funded health care systems to all UK permanent residents that is free at the point of need and paid for from general taxation in the United Kingdom. Each service in England is specific to a one or more local authority areas, and so the country is divided across a number of ambulance services, in a similar way to the Police. The team respond to calls 24 hours a day, utilising both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
It responds to medical emergencies in Northern Ireland with the 270 plus ambulances at its disposal.


Commonly called 'ORCON',[19] after the consultancy used to formulate them, they are more properly called NAPS - New Ambulance Performance Standards. A number of initiatives have been introduced to assist meeting these targets, including Rapid Response Vehicles and Community First Responders.
John Ambulance, which have been providing emergency medical cover in the UK for many years, including active service in both World Wars (pre-dating the existence of any government organised service), and along with St Andrews Ambulance (now St Andrews First Aid, which no longer provides an ambulance service) ran statutory ambulance services in the United Kingdom under contract to the government until a reorganisation in 1974.[8] The primary activity of both organisations in relation to ambulances, is the provision of covers at events as an extension of their first aid contract.
They carry blue lights and sirens which can be used when transporting blood or human tissue for transplant. Staffordshire ambulance trust had a temporary reprieve, but became part of the West Midlands ambulance trust on 1 October 2007. The Government's targets are to reach 75% of Category A (life-threatening) calls - as decided by the computerised AMPDS (except the Berkshire Division of South Central Ambulance where CBD (Criterion Based Dispatch) is used) - within eight minutes. A number of initiatives have been introduced to assist meeting these targets, including Rapid Response Vehicles and Community First Responders.[citation needed] The target in Wales is set by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).



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