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The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) introduce the new National Ambulance Command and Control Guidance.
The NARU Preparedness Workstream, working closely with the NARU Training Faculty, developed the guidance which took into consideration the lessons identified from previous major incidents and event responses across England over recent years, in addition to the best practice models from police and fire and rescue service partners.
The aim of the guidance is to assist the ambulance (and the NHS) commander in taking appropriate and consistent considerations to inform decision making, based on sound risk assessment.
Paul Kudray, Director of Resilience at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “The introduction of this Guidance across the Ambulance Service represents a significant enhancement to our capabilities and consistency in quality within the resilience field. Command and control arrangements and decisions for the NHS, in any stage of the disaster management cycle, are critical and the Ambulance Service, at the front end of the NHS, needs to ensure that we are constantly seeking to enhance our knowledge and abilities to work with and support our multi-agency partners.
“I am extremely pleased that we have achieved this milestone in our capabilities but it is important to continue to move forward and always seek to provide the very best for the patients and public we serve, in any incident or event.”
The new guidance is designed to provide a structured process to assist in the command and control (but not the management) of the NHS response and recovery elements, as part of the multi-agency partnership. It is recognised that each organisation has specific needs and considerations to ensure that their roles and responsibilities, to both respond and recover and to maintain their own Business Continuity arrangements (such as protecting the wider NHS) are addressed through appropriate strategic, tactical and operational plans.
Dave Bull, NARU Education & Command Training Lead, said: “This excellent new guidance will significantly enhance the training and education for ambulance commanders, as all trusts will have access to the same consistent set of bespoke materials. The guidance will provide assurances to our multi-agency partners of our commitment to learn from lessons of previous incidents and events and to ensure that the NHS, through the ambulance service, remains an essential element of the civil protection capabilities across England.”