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OS data and web services supporting ambulance dispatch on Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight NHS® Trust needed to make its ambulance service more efficient. It replaced its out-of date addressing and basic mapping with more detailed, hosted Ordnance Survey data sets which identified more patient locations to help meet their eight-minute response time.

What were the challenges?

  • Having an ambulance service as part of the IoW NHS Trust and not as a separate service. It shares a control room taking 999 calls with Age UK, crisis teams, mental health, nursing, pharmacy and social care teams.
  • Effectively serving a population of 140,000, rising to 200,000 in the summer months due to holiday makers (approx. 40% increase).
  • Serving the island’s large population of retirees with complex health needs.
  • Difficulty locating some patients due to the island’s rural geography.
  • The sole hospital on the island lacks a casualty level one trauma unit or pathology labs, so the Trust relies on ferry crossings and the air ambulance to transfer patients to Southampton and Portsmouth.
  • Working with an out-of-date gazetteer with inaccurate geocoding in a difficult to use system. The existing Microsoft mapping lacked the level of detail needed and couldn’t identify new housing estates.

What was the solution?

Access to Ordnance Survey’s mapping and addressing data through the PSMA has changed the way we work. Using OS’s web APIs has meant our call centre staff now has access to the up-to-date location information they need to quickly pinpoint patients without having to manually enter addresses.

Lee Haward, Acting Service Delivery Manager (Hub)

The Trust has embraced hosted solutions. The OS Places API and OS OnDemand from Ordnance Survey offer the most up to date and detailed maps and addressing available for their computer aided dispatch system (Valentiatech).

The control room staff use the Geosearch function. They locate the patient on themap and can identify the nearest address or address feature for an ambulance to be dispatched to these coordinates. Local government addressing and objects without postal addresses are essential to locate patients where no Royal Mail delivery addresses exist e.g. rural areas.

Additional information, for example, ‘gas present’ or ‘dangerous dogs at property’, are verified against addresses using OS Places so it’s available to call handlers.

What are the benefits?

  • Access to up-to-date OS MasterMap® Topography Layer and AddressBase® Premium to locate patients.
  • Reduced overheads through not having to manage and update addresses manually.
  • Identification of more patient locations to help meet eight-minute response time.
  • 24/7 support from OS.
  • Geosearch function means Trust staff save time not manually typing addresses.

The products used

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