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Research project

Geospatial mapping of emergency calls from older adults to ambulance services in the South Central region, with a focus on people living with dementia: a feasibility study

Project overview

NHS ambulance services are under intense pressure to deliver timely and safe care. Immediately life-threatening conditions have to be prioritised. Older people with falls and symptoms related to long-term chronic conditions which are not life-threatening may experience long delays before an ambulance arrives. These patients may also have dementia, which can put them at greater risk of their condition worsening whilst waiting for their needs to be met.
Using maps to summarise where different types of patients are located over a period of time is useful to ambulance services, which cover a wide geographical area and a large population. Maps can identify areas of higher need, which can help the ambulance service to adapt what they provide in that area and to work more closely with local health and social care organisations so that the patients get more timely or appropriate care. In the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) region, nearly half the 999 calls were to people aged 65+ in 2022 (more than 20,000 calls per month), of which an estimated 14% have dementia.
This project will look at the feasibility of making maps of calls from people aged 65+ in the SCAS region including information such as the numbers of calls and ambulance attendances in different areas, how many calls were to people with dementia, how long staff spend with the patient and whether they are referred to other services or taken to hospital. The maps will be discussed within SCAS including with Community First Responders, with people using SCAS services, and with other health and social care providers. With these partners, we will make a plan for further analyses which would be useful to inform improvements in care for older people in emergency situations, and for the development of service improvements and research


Lead researcher

Dr Carole Fogg

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Use of health and social care ‘big data’ to characterise older people’s service use and outcomes, especially for people living with frailty or dementia.
  • Development and assessment of interventions to improve care and quality of life for older adults.
  • Methodological expertise: epidemiology, clinical trials of medicines and devices, feasibility studies, patient and public involvement and engagement with health services research.
Connect with Carole

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs