A bid for £490,000 of funding to launch a trial scheme where firefighters will transporting ill or injured people to hospital in Lincolnshire has been granted.
Funding for the a pilot scheme between Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, was confirmed by Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis today (Wednesday).
The scheme, known as shared blue light services, will be paid for though the Government’s Transformation Challenge Award budget.
The funding is part of £6.9 million awarded nationally to 18 local authorities to overhaul how they do business as part of the Government’s pledge to transform public services.
It is hoped the project in Lincolnshire could reduce the time it takes for patients to be taken to hospital.
Lincolnshire County Council’s executive councillor for NHS liaison Sue Woolley (Con), said: “We’ve been working on this proposal for quite some time, so I’m delighted we’ve now been awarded the funding from the Government’s Transformation Challenge Award to take this pilot forward.
“As we live in a rural county, we need to find ways in which people can receive emergency care as quickly as possible, and I believe that this scheme really will make a difference.
“I’d really like to thank the teams at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, NHS England, Emas and GPs in Lincolnshire for continuing to support our hard working paramedics and firefighter co-responders and for working closely together with the aim of enhancing our current ambulance provision and improving patient outcomes for the people of Lincolnshire.”
The scheme involves some firefighters acting as co-responders and being sent to medical incidents in an ambulance-type vehicle, which they could use to take the patient to hospital.
At the same time, an Emas paramedic would respond to the incident in a fast response car and if the patient needs to go to hospital, the paramedic would travel with them in the fire service vehicle to provide treatment en route.
It has not yet been announced where the pilot scheme will take place but is expected to be launch in the next 12 months.