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Paramedics on electric bikes will deliver Covid care and flu jabs in London trial

Ross Lydall
·2-min read
<p>If the six-month pilot is a success it could be made permanent and rolled out across London</p> (Reuters)

If the six-month pilot is a success it could be made permanent and rolled out across London

(Reuters)

Paramedics on electric bikes are delivering covid care and flu jabs to patients in their homes under a new initiative launched in London.

A dozen London Ambulance Service medics are taking part in the pilot in Merton, and are dispatched from GP surgeries to deliver care in the community.

<p>Power to his pedals: LAS paramedic Tom Baverstock with an e-bike</p>LAS

Power to his pedals: LAS paramedic Tom Baverstock with an e-bike

LAS

This includes treating patients with long-term conditions, including those who have contracted covid, and others who require follow-up checks after being discharged from hospital.

The aim is to help GPs cope with winter pressures and reduce the risk of patients having to be taken to A&E if their condition deteriorates.

If the six-month pilot is a success it could be made permanent and rolled out across London. It could pave the way for paramedics to administer covid vaccines to elderly people, though there are no plans in place for this yet.

The home visits will allow the medics more time than the average GP consultation of 10 minutes to explore the health needs of their patients.

It delivers the wider aim of treating more people out of hospital and will focus on the frail, elderly, and housebound.

<p>Ready to roll: The paramedic e-bikers in Merton</p>LAS

Ready to roll: The paramedic e-bikers in Merton

LAS

Khadir Meer, chief operating officer at LAS, said: “Winter is an extremely busy time for our health service and with the exceptional year we have had, we hope this pilot will help relieve pressure on GP surgeries and ensure ambulances go where they are most needed.

“Nobody wants to go to hospital unless they have to and with finite resources, our highly-skilled clinicians are well placed to assess whether patients need care at home or if hospital treatment is required.”

Mariam Ganesaratnam, chief executive of Merton Health, said: “I have had the pleasure of working with London Ambulance Service paramedics on the frontline and we believe that this new service will bring significant benefits to our networks, practices and our patients.

“This has been an exciting opportunity and we hope that this partnership extends beyond the six month pilot.”

LAS’s long-standing cycle response squad, which sees paramedics on mountain bikes respond to incidents in central London, Heathrow and Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, has been stood down since the first wave of the pandemic to boost the number of frontline medics available to work on conventional double-crewed ambulances.

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