Professor Niro Siriwardena recently presented on ‘Developing new ways of measuring the quality of emergency medical services’ on 21 January 2016 at the Larrey Society’s inaugural conference on the Future of EMS in London. The Larrey Society, the brainchild of its founder David Davis, is an international organisation of paramedics and NHS, independent and voluntary ambulance services with leaders from health and academic communities, formed a year ago. The society is named after Dominque Jean Larrey, an army surgeon in Napoloen’s army who developed field medicine and ambulances.
The meeting was chaired by Sue Noyes, chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Trust and included keynote lectures from Prof Andy Newton, president of the society, Prof Jonathan Benger, professor of emergency medicine at the University of West of England, Prof Siriwardena, director of CAHRU, and Prof Kevin Mackway-Jones, professor of emergency medicine. Prof Newton talked about the current state of ambulance services and the urgent need to innovate to improve care quality. Prof Benger described an innovative method of ambulance dispatch currently being introduced and evaluated in the South West. Prof Mackway-Jones discussed the causes of and potential solutions to emergency department blocking.
Prof Siriwardena described work done by ambulance services in England over the past eight years developing new quality measures of ambulance service care and improving care for conditions such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and asthma using methods such as largescale quality improvement collaboratives. He went onto describe the new indicators being developed through research programmes such as Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation using method such systematic literature reviews, interviews of ambulance staff and patients, consensus methods and data linkage to derive risk adjustment measures, which provide potential for better measurement and improvement of ambulance service care.