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NWAS Patient Transport Service (Cumbria)

The North West Ambulance (NWAS) Patient Transport Service undertakes almost one million commissioned movements of patients every year. This is within the context of an area of over 5,400 square miles with a population of over seven million people. In the Cumbria area, we carry out almost 1000 patient journeys each day. This involves taking patients with a variety of mobility limitations, to and from healthcare treatment centres for planned appointments, discharges from Hospital or admissions. There are no healthcare Centres of Excellence within the county and treatment centres are located disparately, often necessitating lengthy journeys. The journeys are done by almost 100 contracted members of staff working from 12 stations, approximately 130 volunteer car drivers. We are able to call upon third party external Ambulance providers and contracted Taxi companies. It is believed that a significant number of our patients will have Dementia, whether diagnosed or not.

5 May 2017
North West
Care, Clinical Commissioning Group, Domiciliary Care, Emergency Services Sector, Health, Hospices, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Medical, Transport Sector, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Cumbria Dementia Action Alliance, Kendal Dementia Action Alliance, Ulverston Dementia Action Alliance, Central Lakes Dementia Action Alliance, Sedbergh Dementia Action Alliance , Keswick Dementia Action Alliance , Aspatria DAA, Barrow in Furness Dementia Action Alliance , Walney, Carlisle Dementia Action Alliance , Penrith Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Improve the accessibility of information on Dementia for staff and incorporate this knowledge into the training and development of front-line and other staff.

Improve the awareness of staff to recognise the signs, understand what they can do to support people.

Improve the visibility of Dementia across the organisation, using patient and staff stories to highlight how people with dementia are supported in their day-to-day activities.

Actively work towards an NHS Always Event, adapting practice to meet the needs of those living with dementia following a programme of consultation with them and their carers.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

With a constantly changing workforce, there is a challenge to ensuring staff are adequately trained to understand the unique needs of a variety of patients.

Limited knowledge is often provided to staff who have to make an immediate assessment of a patients needs.

Striving to maintain conistency of quality within the context of a commissioned contract and working with a variety of third party resources and often imprecise information ensures there is always the potential for misunderstanding.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Awareness

    We are striving to ensure that all operational staff attend a Dementia Friends Awareness session and to include this in induction training

  • Institute of Healthcare Improvement 'Always Event'

    Consultation with people living with dementia and their carers to design  practice to meet their needs and to incorprate this into an Always Event.

    Initial Scoping
  • Signposting and sharing information

    Ensuring staff in Ambulances have information available to patients/carers offering local support and services in their community.

  • Working with local DAA

    Ensuring that local representative of NWAS Patient Transport Service as far as able attends quarterly DAA meetings.

    Being implemented