Hospital ambulance liaison officers (HALOs)

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This pack outlines the purpose and role of HALOs.

The goal is to eradicate ambulance queues and the need for HALOs. But, there may be times where the development of a queue is thought likely. In such circumstances, a HALO may be deployed to help manage the hospital–ambulance interface and release  ambulances quicker to respond to the next emergency. This is essential to reduce the risk of avoidable harm to patients in the community awaiting an ambulance response.

The role of HALOs

  • help maintain a safe and effective handover
  • ensure the deteriorating or at-risk patient is identified in the ‘queue’
  • ensure that handovers are recorded and that data capture is timely
  • provide feedback to highlight missing alternative pathways
  • to help reduce unwarranted variation of practice

HALOs should not:

  • always be an ambulance professional — ED staff, such as nurses, can also take on the HALO role
  • provide an intermediary handover role — clinical handovers should be between the ambulance crew and a member of the team providing care for the patient

HALOs provide:

  • professional peer challenge on conveyance decisions at the  front door*
  • clinical support for prehospital clinicians*
  • challenge on processes, support and flow within the ED
  • challenge on the mobility levels of presenting patients to maximise streaming options
  • intelligence on anticipated demand for receiving units
  • support for early escalation with associated actions to create flow, based on known early trigger identifiers and forecast  information
  • support for unforeseen ambulance surge periods to release  crews to respond to patients who are waiting unassessed in the community

Related content

Contact

The ECIST ambulance team can be contacted at: nhsi.ecistambulanceteam@nhs.net.

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