Optimising ambulance response outcomes and costs pilot evaluation study (OptiAmbuROC)

Funding body Quality Research Strategic Priority Fund (QR SPF)
Total funding  £17,377.25
  • Dr Colin Ridyard, CaHRU University of Lincoln
  • Dr Murray Smith, CaHRU University of Lincoln
  • Robert Spaight, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Dr Leon Roberts, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Prof Niro Siriwardena, CaHRU University of Lincoln
  • University of Lincoln
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Overarching aim A key aim of the QR Strategic Priorities Fund (QR SPF) is to support universities to link effectively with policy research priorities and opportunities, from the local to the international. In response to a policy question from our regional ambulance services we aimed to investigate the optimum configuration of single crewed rapid response vehicles (RRVs) vs double crewed ambulances (DCAs) to maximise ambulance response times.
  • Objectives
  • To explore crew mixes and costings in DCAs and RRVs (e.g. A4C banding on technicians and paramedics).
  • To assign unit costs to crew mixes in DCAs and RRVs.
  • To explore the probabilities of conveyance by category in selected high-volume calls for different ratios of RRVs to DCAs.
  • To estimate the cost of attendance and cost of conveyance for incidents first attended by an RRV and first attended by a DCA.
  • To explore other ways of modelling optimal configurations based on available data and existing literature.
Methods Decision analytic modelling study.
Outcomes Unit costs for RRVs and DCAs.

Graph of modelled cost versus percentage single crewed RRV.

Outputs Policy briefing

A final report of the study and set of recommendations in the form of a policy briefing.


Ridyard C, Smith MD, Spaight R, Law, Siriwardena AN (2022). Optimising ambulance conveyance rates and staff costs by adjusting proportions of rapid response vehicles and dual-crewed ambulances: an economic decision analytic modelling study. Emergency Medical Journal (online first).

Impact The study will seek to inform ambulance services about fleet configuration to maximise outcomes and efficiency.


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