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Award for Welsh Life-Saving Data Analysis Presented in Scotland

Published on: 12th June 2017

A Swansea-based academic has received an award for her presentation about Wales’ mobile critical care service and how data analysis conducted by Swansea University is helping to save lives.

Jane Lyons, a researcher in the University’s Medical School, is part of a team which is carrying out an independent analysis of the patient data produced by the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru). She presented at the UK Administrative Data Research Network (ADNR) Annual Research Conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, on the 1 and 2 of June.

View the abstract ‘Outcomes of patients treated by EMRTS Cymru: A 3-year data-linkage study’ here.

The ADRN Conference brings together international researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss the best use of administrative data as a research resource for social science.
Launched in April 2015, EMRTS Cymru, also known as the Welsh Flying Medics, joined the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) Charity helicopters to provide pioneering emergency medical care across Wales.

The Service, which effectively takes the emergency room to the patient, is made up of Welsh Government-funded NHS Wales consultants and critical care practitioners who are able to deliver innovative emergency treatments previously not available outside of a hospital environment.

A vital part of the development and growth of EMRTS Cymru is the data analysis that it undertakes in partnership with The Farr Institute at Swansea University.
So far, the analysis has identified that the service has:
• shortened the time it takes for somebody who is critically ill to receive consultant-led treatment.

• ensured that more people in Wales, in rural and urban areas, now have equal access to timely consultant-led treatment during an emergency incident, and can be immediately transported to specialist care at healthcare facilities across Wales and beyond.

• relieved some pressure on frontline NHS emergency services. It has significantly improved the time it takes for some patients to be taken for a CT scan and emergency surgery. In addition, the Service has reduced timely and costly transfers between hospitals by taking patients directly to the appropriate specialist care.

• supported the development of skills and knowledge in critical care for NHS Wales employees, both during emergency incidents and by organising regular training opportunities.

During the conference, Ms Lyons revealed the methodology developed by the University to conduct an in-depth comparative analysis for the Service. It is centred on the use of its Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, a world-class, privacy-protecting data linkage system that securely brings together the widest possible array of routinely-collected data. It holds approximately 9 billion records from patients worldwide.

The University’s collaboration with EMRTS Cymru sees pre-hospital care records linked in SAIL with a variety of national data-sets including Emergency Department, Ambulance, Primary Care, Intensive Care and National Trauma Audits. Through this, a patient’s journey can be followed anonymously from injury to rehabilitation. This allows the Service to measure the impact of its treatments on patient outcomes and the wider NHS, and continue to enhance the services it provides.

Ms Lyons said: ““It is great to be using these novel evaluation methods to ultimately improve healthcare delivery on a national scale, and we are looking forward to progressing to the next stages of work”

Enquiries to Sarah Toomey, Communications Officer, Farr Institute CIPHER, s.toomey@swansea.ac.uk


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