The London Ambulance Service is the busiest ambulance Service in the UK. Around 8,000 staff and volunteers serve a diverse population of over 9 million Londoners.
In 2020/21 we answered 1,813,115 calls over the course of the financial year. From the time a call is received, we give every single call the most appropriate response balancing the needs of the caller with the services we have available.
Our emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs), triage every call using Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System (AMPDS) for more complex calls our EMDs are supported by the Clinical Support Desk (CSD), CSD is staffed by clinical team leaders, mental nurses, midwives and other medical professionals, CSD clinical advisers are able to triage complex calls using a modified Manchester Triage Tool.
At the London Ambulance Service, a range of responses can be delivered to every call for help; most minor cases can be dealt with over the telephone by the Clinical Hub, known as ‘hear and treat’ patients may be given self-care advice or transferred to a NHS 111 adviser. The LAS runs the NHS 111 Service in North East and South East London. In 2020/21 we answered 1,278,862 calls.
Where a vehicle is dispatched potential responses include; a two person crewed ambulance, a solo Rapid/fast response car, a cycle response or Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS)– to name a few. LAS clinicians who respond to patients vary in skills. Emergency Ambulance Crew (EAC), Paramedics, Senior Paramedics and Advanced Paramedic Practitioners (APPs). Different types of clinicians provide different levels of care, treatment and procedures.
In addition to a Paramedic response the LAS also employs specialist non-Paramedic clinicians, such as midwives who can assist in the most complex maternity issues, and mental health nurses. In 2020/21 our Mental Health Joint Response Cars attended 6,380 incidents all over London.
These different response options enable the LAS to deliver appropriate care to all patients in an efficient manner.
Research capabilities at the LAS
The London Ambulance Service research workforce comprises:
- Head of Clinical Audit & Research
- Clinical Research Manager
- Research Paramedics
- Research & Development Co-ordinator
Current research projects
- A randomised trial of expedited transfer to a cardiac arrest centre for non-ST elevation out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (ARREST)
Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO)
- Clinical Randomisation of Antifibrinolytic in Symptomatic mild Head injury in older adults (CRASH-4)
- Prehospital resuscitation decision (PROTECTeD)
- Feasibility study of a pre-hospital extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) capable advanced resuscitation team at achieving blood flow within 30 minutes in patients with refractory cardiac arrest (SUB 30)
Previously conducted research projects
- Experiences of staff providing telephone CPR instruction
- Assessment of Impact of Real-time Continuous Glucose Monitoring on people presenting with severe Hypoglycaemia (AIR-CGM)
- Understanding COVID-19 outcomes for ethnic minority healthcare workers
- Staff Wellbeing in Ambulance service Personnel (SWAP)
- The COVID-19 Ambulance Response Assessment Study (CARA)
- MPDS maternity study
Latest / significant publications
- Brown, T.P., Perkins, G.D., Smith, C.M., Deakin, C.D., Fothergill, R. (2022). Are there disparities in the location of Automated External Defibrillators in England?, Resuscitation, 170, pp. 28-35.
- Smith, C. M., Lall, R., Spaight, R., Fothergill, R. T., Brown, T., and Perkins, G. (2021). Calculating real-world travel routes instead of straight-line distance in the community response to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Resuscitation Plus,8, 100176.
- Kingsley, P., Merefield, J., Walker, R.G., Chapman, F., and Faulkner, M. (2021). Out-of-hospital resuscitation of a 3 month old boy presenting with recurrent ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest: a case report. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med, 29(58).
- Fothergill, R.T., Smith, A.L., Wrigley, F., and Perkins, G.D. (2021). Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in London during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resuscitation Plus, 5, 100066.
- Perkins, G.D., Ji, C., Deakin, C.D., Nolan, J.P., Scomparin, C., Regan, S., Long, J., Slowther, A., et al. (2018). A randomized trial of epinephrine in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. New England Journal of Medicine, 379(8), pp. 711-721.
LAS research contact details
If you’re interested in doing research with the London Ambulance Service, please get in touch:
Professor Rachael Fothergill – Head of Clinical Audit & Research
For more information, please visit LAS website.