Thursday 13th March 2014 – 12.45pm – Suzie Fothergill.
Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of Health Education England and Jenni Ord, Chair for Health Education West Midlands have praised the staff developments that are being undertaken by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The pair visited ambulance headquarters yesterday (Wednesday) to hear about the wide variety of programmes being undertaken by the Trust. During the visit, they received an overview of the educational systems that are embedded into the Trust, such as paramedic progression and apprenticeships. They also met WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh and a range of other Trust staff involved in the developments.
Key to the presentations were the way the Trust has invested heavily in helping staff to train to higher levels of education which ultimately allow the individuals to provide better patient care. For example, they heard about the additional skills paramedics have which means many more patients are now cared for within their own homes rather than needing to be taken to hospital as might have happened only five years ago.
The role of WMAS Critical Care Paramedics and their role within the Medical Emergency Response Intervention Team (MERIT) was next on the agenda. MERIT has been noted as a world leading trauma initiative, which sees highly skilled paramedics and trauma doctors being dispatched to some of the most serious incidents within the region.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh said: “The visit provided the opportunity to demonstrate how we are strengthening our workforce, particularly with paramedic progression through recruitment as well as providing existing staff development opportunities. This progression will help to ensure we continue to provide patients with high quality services. We are getting ever closer to our aim of having a paramedic on every vehicle which will undoubtedly improve patient care.”
During the visit, Sir Keith remarked how impressed he was with what was going on within the organisation, as well as the contribution that WMAS has made to the improvements in Ambulance Services across the country.
He said: “I am particularly interested and impressed by the model that you use to ensure that you get the right workforce in the right numbers with the right skills, and particularly the right behaviours. The passion and commitment that I saw and the sheer enthusiasm came across in the presentations.”
The day was rounded off with a tour of the Emergency Operations Centre.