Progress Lifeline work with Urgent Care Response teams in new pilot

Posted on: 4/11/2022

Our latest partnership initiative allows our Emergency Home Responders to have access to the Urgent Care Response team in Morecambe and Lancaster.

Progress Lifeline has worked with The TEC Services Association (TSA), the representative body for technology enabled care (TEC) services, designing an innovative urgent community response tool that improves responsiveness to patients and eases pressure on ambulance services.

If a customer has fallen in their home and are uninjured, but unable to get back up we will dispatch one of our Responders who will use specialist lifting equipment to help them back to their feet. However, on occasions when our Responder arrives and the customer does not seem well, we may have to call for an ambulance as a duty of care.

This new initiative means that our responders are being trained by the local Urgent Care Response team to use basic clinical observation equipment including thermometers, blood pressure monitors and Oximeters for blood oxygen levels.

If a responder has concerns (non-emergency) about someone they respond to, then they can call the UCR team and provide the observation readings, and the UCR clinician will carry out a clinical assessment over the phone. They can then make direct referrals into relevant local health teams such as district nurses, rapid response teams or Occupational Therapists for further care.

Before the pilot started, our responders’ only option would be to escalate to North West Ambulance Service. This could mean a long wait for a non-urgent ambulance and another long wait in hospital, both the emergency department and for further services to be involved, ensuring the right care is put in place.

The intervention of Progress Lifeline responders will result in a better outcome for the ambulance service, and patient well-being, long-term. Following a visit, the responders can also make referrals to local falls prevention services across Lancashire, reducing the likelihood of future falls. Whilst the UCR teams can make referrals to local health teams reducing hospital admissions.

The TSA believes that UCR teams will be able to respond to many incidents referred by Telecare Alarm Response Centres and responders. Audits in the North West estimate that 9-11%of hospital emergency admissions could be avoided in this way.

Due to the current focus on falls from NHS England and MPs, it is likely we will be rolling this out across Lancashire soon.

Joanne Bushell, Head of Progress Lifeline Operations said, “We are proud to be working with the Urgent Care Response teams in Morecambe and Lancaster, NWAS and NHS partners as part of this innovative initiative. We have an ageing population and there is an increasing demand for help with uninjured falls. It is clinically recognised the importance of lifting people up off the floor as quickly as possible, and this does not always have to be an ambulance with a paramedic crew. We have a highly trained team who specialise in responding to people who have fallen at home. It makes sense to let us do this and leave the ambulances and paramedics to focus on emergency call-outs.”

Outcomes and Achievements

The pilot began in September 2022 and we assisted with;

  • 24 call-outs in the Morecambe and Lancaster area
  • 20 of those call-outs were falls-related. We made 15 successful lifts, 4 no longer required a lift and the remaining call-out was referred to NWAS
  • We received 11 out of UCR hours call-outs, and a further 6 UCR referrals
  • Saved the NHS ambulance call-out costs for the referred uninjured falls, as well as further savings in non-conveyance to A&E and ongoing treatment or hospital stays.

Patient outcomes;


Progress Lifeline’s Alarm Response Centre (ARC) received an activation from a customer’s pendant. He had fallen but was triaged by our operator as having no injuries. Our responder was dispatched and arrived at the customer’s property within 30 minutes. An injury assessment was carried out and it was determined the customer had no injuries so he was lifted using specialist lifting equipment and transferred to his walking frame.

As it was his third fall in two days, our Responder took clinical observations using the equipment and training provided by the UCR team. A UCR clinician was called who assessed the situation and deployed a member of the UCR Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response team took bloods and referred the customer to a local Occupational Therapist who arranged same day delivery of raised toilet seat, wheeled Zimmer and chair raisers.

Mrs MH

Progress Lifeline’s Alarm Response Centre received an alert via the NWAS mobile of a fall. The operator called the Clinical Assessment Services who advised it was suitable for a responder to attend and carry out a lift. The Progress Lifeline responder was dispatched and arrived at the property within 12 minutes. We lifted the customer but we identified that she was unsteady with her stick. We took clinical observation readings and called the UCR clinician. The UCR clinician deployed Rapid Response for a suspected water infection and antibiotics were given immediately.

On both of these occasions, the outcomes were more efficient and effective care for the patient as well as the reducing the pressure and costs to the NHS as there was no need for an ambulance call-out and hospital admission.