skip to main content

Innovative new unit installed to help reduce ambulance delays

17 November 2022

A group of nine people - including our Chief Executive, nurses and ambulance personnel - stand outside the new unit at the top of a ramp leading to the main doors. 

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has opened a new temporary facility to support safe handover of patients from ambulances and into the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Working with East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST), the External Ambulance Area developed next to the Emergency Department on the James Paget site will support effective and rapid handover of patients from ambulances into the care of the hospital, meaning more vehicles and crews are available to attend emergencies in Norfolk and Waveney.

The unit will be used to care for up to six patients, providing supervision by a dedicated clinician, as an alternative to ambulance crews waiting in bays to handover a patient for admission to the hospital. Patients will be monitored regularly with nurses, healthcare assistants and ambulance crews checking on their condition before admission to the hospital emergency department.

Jo Segasby, Chief Executive at the James Paget, said: “Heading into winter, we have worked closely with our partners at EEAST and across the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System to help people access urgent and emergency care when they need it, where they need it.”

“Developing our External Ambulance Area will help our clinical teams triage and care for patients coming into the hospital by ambulance, and provide additional coordination during the busy winter months.”

Inside the new unit - Three people - two senior nurses and a man wearing an ambulance uniform - stand next to a trolley bed and set of drawers containing medical equipment.

The External Ambulance Area unit formally opens on 17 November 2022, and has been developed by EMS Healthcare, who have worked closely with the James Paget to rapidly complete the project over the last month. The unit is the second of its kind in the East of England, following the installation of a similar unit by Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust at Southend Hospital in October.

Tom Abell, Chief Executive at EEAST said: “The introduction of the External Ambulance Area at James Paget University Hospital will release more vehicles and crews for responding to emergencies. It will also help us to meet the challenges of the coming winter months, when we know demand will increase.

“When people call 999 the public expect the ambulance service to attend, units like this will help make sure that we can.”

Marcus Bailey, Winter System Director for NHS Norfolk and Waveney, added: “This is a brilliant example of our local health and care organisations working collaboratively as a system to improve access to care for local people.”

This initiative is part of a range of operational developments put in place by health and care organisations working in Great Yarmouth and Waveney to ensure patients are cared for effectively in hospitals, the community and their homes over winter. Read more about how partners in this area are working together here.

If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, or you’re not sure whether to go to your GP or local pharmacy, contact NHS 111 first. If you do need urgent care, then NHS 111 can book you in to be seen quickly and safely in A&E.

More information on protecting your health and keeping Warm and Well over winter can be found here:

The exterior of the new unit, which has black glass panels at the front and NHS branding on the front and side.