South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) will equip workers with mobile devices and a bespoke app to help improve response times.

The service has 1,200 community first responders (CFRs) and co-responders (police, Ffe and military) in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, which will have access to more than 350 4G mobile devicessupplied by Vodaphone.

A dedicated app developed in partnership with CommonTime comes built-in to the devices.

CommonTime offers quick communication between CFRs and their office-based clinical coordination centre, allowing them to log in and report whether they are available to respond to an incident.

As such, when an incident occurs, the closest available responder will be alerted and provided with the exact location, fastest route and incident details.

On arrival, they can share critical information about the incident and request additional support from the emergency services if necessary.

For safety purposes, all CFRs are tracked through GPS at all times.

Nic Morecroft, head of operations for community engagement and training at SCAS, said: “We recognise there is a huge opportunity to improve patient care using digital technology.

“Our partnership with Vodafone highlights how implementing technology solutions can have an immediate and real impact on the service we offer to patients.  We have already seen improved efficiencies and feedback from our first responders has been extremely positive.”

A further 150 devices will be issued within the next few weeks.

SCAS’s step towards digital follows a recent review by Lord Carter of Coles, published in October 2018, which suggested there needs to be a “renewed emphasis” on technological innovation in the ambulance service.

NHS England has also selected three ambulance trusts that were named Global Digital Exemplars (GDEs) in an effort drive and share improvements in digital technology.