Digital transformations at Kendal Ambulance StationDate posted: 27th May 2022
Colleagues at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have completed a pilot project to transform the Kendal Ambulance Station site into a Smart Station by adopting a variety of digital systems and solutions.
The project has seen some key benefits including a 70% saving on energy use thanks to a new ultra-smart and energy-efficient lighting system. The team has also seen a saving of 49 hours over four months on staff time because of a new access control system that allows a clinician to swipe their ID card to open and close the site’s garage rather than using a traditional mechanical chain.
Matt Dugdale, Head of Clinical and Digital Innovation at NWAS, said: “We decided on Kendal as our test site as it is a location with geographical changes and is remote from NWAS’ Head Quarters in Ladybridge in Bolton. It’s a busy hub and small station with 140 staff, 12 vehicles and unique challenges being close to the Lake District and is impacted by summer seasonal activities. The centre has good connections with local health care partners so it was a really great place to start innovating.
“We started the project back in July 2020, and we found there were lots of inefficiencies and wastage in terms of how staff would flow through the building, there was lots of paper used around the site and some issues with security as often generic key codes were shared.”
Matt added: “Our staff co-designed the changes with us and feel really proud that they were part of them and they feel that this project has really put Kendal on the map. We would like to thank all of our industry partners including Sony, Apple, Assa Abloy and Deister.
“We now hope to roll out these innovations across NWAS trust. We are also doing some exploratory work with other ambulance services and NHS partners who are keen to adopt some of the innovations.”
Digital systems and solutions introduced at NWAS Kendal Ambulance Station
- Since introducing CLIQ® keys the theft of controlled drugs at the site has reduced from four to zero. The CLIQ® keys are individually issued to each paramedic with different levels of access depending on their role and the CLIQ® system records intelligence such as who has accessed the controlled drug safe. CLIQ® keys also mean if there is a major incident, paramedics coming from different sites to support would be given 24-hour rapid access reducing any delays to patient treatment and care.
- All lighting was removed and replaced with ultra-smart and energy-efficient lighting which runs on the circadian rhythm, meaning lights dip and brighten depending on the time of day. This change has seen up to a 70% saving on energy use tying in with NWAS’ sustainability plan and has improved the team’s working conditions.
- New access control systems on the site’s building and on the garage door allow paramedics to use their ID cards to open and close rather than using a keypad and code. This has saved the team 49 hours over four months and 86% of staff have said they felt it is safer not having to share a keypad code.
- New digital key cabinets have been adopted and can be accessed by staff using their ID card. The new system means that staff only get access to keys suitable for their role and records intelligence such as who has accessed the key cabinet. The new system means that a manager based at a different site can remotely issue a key to one of their team at Kendal in an emergency rather than having to travel to Kendal to issue the key in person, this is saving travel time and associated costs.
- An interactive digital wallboard has been introduced to reduce paper wastage across the site. The board allows staff to find different information such as news bulletins and staff briefings and they can download a QR code or use their ID card which sends them a copy to their email address to read at a later date. The board also shows the team a picture of what their shift may look like and where the challenges are including vehicle availability, how busy hospitals are across the area, figures for arrivals and delays on out of hours providers. The team would like to build on the information captured on the board in the coming months by adding information and notification about community services.