NEAS-WEBS-NEWS

Facing Up To A Challenging Future

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) based in Newcastle is one of ten NHS ambulance providers in England and is under severe pressure. Seriously large NHS cutbacks are running side by side with the demands generated by 360,000 emergency or urgent calls each year. That’s around 1000 a day on average and demand is increasing.

But, the high profile ‘Blue Light’ service is just one aspect of the business. Over 4000 people each day, for example, are provided with a patient transport service (essentially an accessible and user friendly taxi service). An out of hours GP service is another business area under development.

Senior management at NEAS commissioned Blumilk to look into what the NEAS ‘business brand’ represented overall and how it could be positioned for business development. Blumilk were also asked to look at how potential opportunities to commercialise parts of the service could be integrated into the overall brand.

The high profile ‘Blue Light’ service is just one aspect of the business.

Health and safety training, the HART team that controls and responds to hazards in industrial areas such as power plants and petro chemical installations are two particular examples. Add to that the potential of expanding call centre services, out of hours GP services and transport for patients from home to hospital and back and the opportunities are potentially wide ranging.

“The aim for commercialisation was simple – to generate income to offset government driven budget cuts”, says George Robertson, Project Manager for the NEAS review.

A 10,000 words report supported a half day presentation to the Ambulance Trust Board. The findings and proposals followed six months of intensive internal and external consultations conducted by Blumilk – one to one and in workshop groups – with all levels of staff, the board of directors, governors and service commissioners.

The aim for commercialisation was simple – to generate income to offset government driven budget cuts.

NEAS faces a major challenge in the years ahead. There are no fears though – staff involved in the preparation of the Blumilk report offered almost unanimous and enthusiastic support for the steps recommended.

November 7, 2013