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Access to national digital records transforms Welsh Ambulance paramedics' approach to patient care

Rapid access to patients’ digital health records has been critical in delivering life-saving care, according to paramedics at the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST). 

Mark Craven, Senior Trauma Paramedic, said the information provided by the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP) has been invaluable since him and his team have started using it. 

“Our Clinical Desk team have access to WCP, and they support the road crews when we’re on a call. We’re in constant communication with the clinical desk, who look up the patient we’re treating and can give us a full background on their medical history and what medication they’re on.” 

Mark explained that knowing this important medical information when a patient may be confused or misremember their health records can clearly impact their treatment and even save their life, “It really tells us the important stuff, knowing that a patient might be on an anti-coagulant for example, means that a small fall could actually be something far more serious and need further treatment.”  

Test results are also viewable to the WAST team, and access to a patient’s recent blood test results could mean that the ambulance crew don’t need to take the patient into hospital to repeat tests. This means they can then decide on a different form of treatment, ideally where the patient doesn’t need to visit a hospital unnecessarily and can be treated at home or elsewhere.  Not only does this also save the patient having to be re-bled, but also saves the valuable time of the paramedics. 

By providing ambulance teams with access to vital information about their patients, the WCP can enable better treatment planning, more efficient care and help WAST staff to feel “more secure in their decisions”.