North West Ambulance NHS Trust are undertaking new research that could provide early reassurance to patients with chest pain whilst reducing stress on ambulance crews and A&E departments.

The major new study plans to assess whether future patients who call 999 with chest pain can be safely assessed and managed by paramedics, without having to go to hospital by using T-MACS, which calculate how likely it is that a patient has a serious heart problem by considering their symptoms and the results of basic tests.

Patients across central and north Manchester, Salford and Bolton will take part in the trial, which is being led by the University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

A total of 700 patients are expected to participate across three regions as part of the NHS’ ambition to find new ways of delivering healthcare more efficiently without the need for hospital treatment.

Chest pain is the second most common reason why people call 999 for an ambulance. However, the symptoms associated with a heart attack and those of non-cardiac conditions are often similar. These patients are routinely taken to A&E for tests, although ultimately most do not have a health problem that needs treatment in a hospital.

Steve Bell, consultant paramedic and principal investigator at the North West Ambulance Service, said“At North West Ambulance Service, we are delighted to be at the forefront of this clinical study to evaluate a new innovative way of working to benefit patients experiencing chest pain.

“This new technique allows us to undertake more in depth tests for patients at home, meaning clinicians can make more informed decisions about the best care for the patient.”