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North Cumbria Emergency Response service saves thousands for ambulance service

28th November 2016

In the first five months, the Emergency Response Service launched by the North Cumbria Independent Living (NCIL) team has attended over 800 incidents and helped make great NHS savings in ambulance call out costs.

The ‘North Cumbria Independent Living’ services is provided by Eden Housing Association who already provide a similar service in Eden. The North Cumbria service was launched in Carlisle on 1 June 2016 when they took over the emergency response service from Riverside Careline.

Already proving to be very successful, the 24 hour NCIL emergency response service is being managed from a new Carlisle office at the Heysham Gardens Extra Care scheme.

To date the team have responded to over 800 incidents, and only needed to call out an ambulance on 44 occasions. Dennis Milner the NCIL Co-ordinator said “Around fifty percent of our call outs relate to falls which means the client may need assistance to help get up. In situations like that, we always use a lifting cushion and we’re very well trained in lifting clients safely.

“When we launched the service, we knew lifting cushions would become a key part of our equipment and they are used every day. Our NCIL Response car is fully equipped to deal with most emergency situations, with other essentials like defibrillators and first aid equipment. All our staff are fully trained on the equipment, lifting and administering first aid.

“What we offer is a valuable lifeline for vulnerable people in the community. We are often able to get to people quicker than an ambulance and where people do not need medical care; we enable them to stay in their own home without the psychological stress of waiting for an ambulance.”

On average the team receive around six call outs a day, but as the number of new clients is continuing to grow, the team are gearing up for more response.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for both Eden and North Cumbria Independent Living said “Over 80% of Riverside Careline clients transferred across to our response service. We have also been able to employ eight staff who were previously at Riverside Careline, potentially facing redundancy.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved in our first few months. So far, only 5% of the calls we received needed an ambulance to be called out. In 2011 an NHS ambulance call out cost was around £250, today it will be more, so that’s a massive saving.”

Anyone looking to find out more about the North Cumbria Independent Living Service can contact the team at Heysham Gardens, Carlisle on 01228 580909 or Freephone 0800 061 4201

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