New Joint Initiative On Trial

Monday, 28 January, 2008

A new initiative is being trialled in the Essex town of Harlow which aims to cut down emergency service response times and reduce hospital admissions.

Police officers on foot patrol are being teamed with a paramedic in a pilot scheme to see whether if the service Essex Police and the East of England Ambulance Service offer can be improved.

The paramedic will be able to give advice, medical assistance and guidance on whether an ambulance is needed. The reduction in calls will free ambulances to respond to emergencies throughout the county.

Jon Moore, the ambulance service's general manager for west Essex, commented, "What is important to us is looking at how we can improve our response to the general public, and initiatives such as this go a long way in helping the service utilise resources better.

"It's also about hospital admission avoidance, dealing with incidents on the spot which helps the patient as they can be assessed and if necessary treated immediately, and will hopefully be a very public way of raising awareness of our role within the community."

Police officers are already very positive about the possible impact of the initiative, which is currently only used by one other force in the country.

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