North West Ambulance Service
North West Ambulance Service
Approximately 6,300 staff in more than 300 roles
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is based
in Greater Manchester and serves more than
7 million people in North West England, covering
approximately 5,400 square miles. The service
receives approximately 1.3 million emergency calls
and responds to more than 1 million incidents each
year. On top of this, they make 1.5 million patient
transport journeys every year for patients who
require non-emergency transport to and from
NWAS plays an important role in the community,
delivering the NHS 111 phone service for people in
the region who need medical help or advice, and
handling more than 1.5 million calls every year. They
employ approximately 6,300 staff in more than 300
roles across three emergency operations centres,
three area offices, five NHS 111 phone service sites,
one support centre, two patient control rooms, two
hazardous area response team (HART) buildings,
and more than 100 ambulance stations.
Before deploying the integration engine, there was a growing need for NWAS to share a broad range of information — such as ambulance numbers and locations — with its health service partners. The sharing of information would allow healthcare providers in North West England to better manage patients, draw better analytics, and increase efficiency within the organisations. However, there wasn’t a simple solution to do this internally.
NWAS implemented the Rhapsody Integration Engine in 2014 to facilitate data exchange and quickly discovered multiple uses for the interoperability platform, including:
NWAS has used Rhapsody to develop a unique
integrated map called the Automatic Vehicle
Location System (AVLS). The AVLS displays the live
position of their ambulances to allow complete
oversight of the fleet (see details on next page).
Real-time comprehensive view
A combined view of NWAS data and health
organisation data improves real-time insights.
With this data, providers in the region can better
manage patients with a clear view into the number
of available beds, volume of ambulances on site,
number en route, the additional number of patients
that they can expect at any given time, and more.
NWAS provides a daily data feed to England’s
National Health Service (NHS). This data covers
particular incident types that the ambulatory
service has dealt with over the last 24 hours.
This allows the NHS to track and analyse incidents
across the country to provide better healthcare.
An inside look at the Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS)
AVLS displays the live location of NWAS fleet
vehicles. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: identify & capture data
NWAS’ mapping vendor supplies the data needed
to locate vehicles in its fleet. However, the data is
static and only shows a single resource. It does not
display everything needed to manage a full fleet of
ambulances, such as nearby resources or incidents
Step 2: process & store the data
Using Rhapsody, NWAS captures the data in real
time from the map supplier, then processes and
stores it in an SQL database
Within the database, the latitude and longitude
location is added and an SQL geometry type is
Step 4: put it all together
The data is then plotted and overlaid on the map.
NWAS now has complete oversight of its fleet using
a simple Rhapsody Route.