3 April 2023
First dates for the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Services (EMRTS Cymru) engagement sessions have been announced by the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner (CASC), responsible for leading the all-Wales engagement process.
The formal public engagement process, in relation to EMRTS Cymru who work in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, has started this month with a series of engagement events during a six-week period.
The Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner, Stephen Harrhy, has been appointed by the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee (EASC) to explore and maximise the additional activity that could be achieved from existing bases and to explore options to reconfigure the air ambulance service.
The engagement timetable shows how a mix of public engagement sessions is being offered to include in-person public meetings, walk-in sessions, and virtual sessions online giving people a range of options to provide feedback during an initial six-week period.
The Commissioner, Stephen Harrhy said: “The EMRTS Service Review will focus on making sure that the patients who need this important critical care service can have access to it no matter where they live in Wales or when they need it.
“We know that EMRTS saves lives and that patients who are treated by EMRTS recover better and quicker, so this impartial Review will consider how as many people as possible in Wales could benefit from this service, as well as considering the most effective use of clinical skills, and other resources.
“We’ve had strong interest from stakeholders in the EMRTS Service Review and I am grateful for the contributions made to date towards shaping the engagement process that demonstrates how we have listened to stakeholders and taken these suggestions on board. I would like to thank those who have supported us in making these arrangements in localities.
“There are still some venue confirmations we are expecting and will therefore update the timetable on the EASC website as soon as all details are confirmed.
“As well as the core public engagement timetable that we have so far, I am keen to take up offers of any additional locations from stakeholders who feel would be beneficial to consider as I want as many people to have their say as possible. Anyone who has an interest in hosting us can e-mail: EASCServiceReviewQueries@wales.nhs.uk to make arrangements with my team.”
As well as the public sessions on the timetable, the established engagement structures of Health Boards’ Stakeholder Reference Groups (SRGs) and Community Health Councils (CHCs - soon to be Llais with effect from April 01, 2023) will be engaged with, and representative sample focus groups are also being co-ordinated.
In readiness for this engagement, a substantial amount of information has been published on the EASC website which includes a video ‘explainer’ and detailed Frequently Asked Questions section about the Service.
Mr Harrhy explained: “We recognise that there is much complex information to convey about the clinical and operational aspects of how the Service works now that will need to be understood in order to provide feedback. I very much encourage everyone to use this information before attending any of the engagement sessions as it should help clarify any queries.”
Recognising that virtual sessions can be a more convenient way for many people to provide feedback, a guide has also been produced by the EASC team which sets out how to attend the virtual public meetings online using Microsoft Teams for those who are unfamiliar with the platform.
All previously issued briefing updates are published in English and Welsh on the EASC website News - Emergency Ambulance Services Committee (nhs.wales), but anyone who would like to receive a copy e-mailed directly, can send an e-mail to: EASCServiceReviewQueries@wales.nhs.uk requesting to be added to the distribution list.