Ambulance crews to be relieved from Northamptonshire hospitals to save on overtime

Paramedics who face extended shifts while waiting with A&E patients could be allowed to hand over to another crew at Northamptonshire hospitals.

Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 6:26 am

The measures are being considered by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) as a way of saving money on overtime payments.

Medics who have taken a patient to hospital are obliged to stay with them until a doctor can take over, and crammed A&E departments in Kettering and Northampton mean the waits can take them well beyond the planned shift hours.

An idea being discussed is having a fresh crew starting their shift at the hospital rather than clocking on at an ambulance station.

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A spokesman for EMAS said: “We’re looking at having someone take a replacement crew who are due to start their shift, to the hospital where the crew due to finish their shift are

“They cannot leave because they are kept there caring for the patient they have taken in, while they wait for a clinical handover to be accepted by the hospital.

“The crew starting their shift can then take over and relieve the other crew who can be returned back to base to finish their shift.”

Meanwhile, other cost-saving ideas include selling the EMAS headquarters in Nottingham then leasing it back at a cheaper monthly rate.