Severe weather plan – Update from North East Ambulance Service

Fri 02nd March 2018


Our severe weather plan, implemented as a result of the adverse weather and poor road conditions, is helping to keep safe our patients and staff.

This is our highest priority in these adverse weather conditions.

Our operational status remains at level three of four – severe pressure – under the Resource Escalation Action Plan (REAP), a framework designed to maintain an effective and safe operational and clinical response for patients.

We cancelled non-essential scheduled patient transport into hospital clinics and out-patients appointments for a second day today so that we can ensure our service for those potentially life-threatened patients and hospital discharges is uninterrupted. We are uniquely positioned to respond to this adversity as part of our overall service resilience to use our spare patient transport capacity to:

  • Focus on essential and critical-care patients (e.g. dialysis, oncology etc.).
  • Support our emergency care services in conveying low acuity patients, and
  • Support hospitals in discharges

We remain committed to supporting hospitals with discharges to maintain patient flow. NEAS continues to do planned and same-day discharges for all patients except those who live in areas that are not accessible. We will not convey them for their own safety and that of our crews.

We have also been inundated with offers of help from the community to transport our staff in 4×4 vehicles. Our own managers and officers are being supported by the British Red Cross and Mountain Rescue Services so that we are currently coping. But this community spirit has been warming under such cold conditions.

We are also helping several private ambulance providers, where they have encountered challenges in working in this environment, to ensure their essential and critical-care patients are transported to their appointments, such as dialysis, in a timely manner.

Our staff and volunteers continue to be amazing, working outside in incredibly challenging circumstances. Their dedication to provide the best service they can has seen some people stay overnight on station when they couldn’t get home or walking miles into work when the roads were inpassable.