Ambulance crew chased and vehicle damaged

Thursday 29th November 2018 – 12.55pm – Murray MacGregor.

Officers from West Midlands Police have arrested a man after he assaulted one of our crews as they tried to treat him.

The incident happened in Handsworth after a 999 call at just before 7am this morning (Thursday).

The crew was chased into their ambulance, where the perpetrator subsequently smashed one of the windows.

The Force Response Unit from West Midlands Police tweeted to say that one of their officers was assaulted during the arrest, but the perpetrator is now in custody.

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Although physically unhurt, this must have been a terrifying ordeal for our staff.  We will provide support for them going forwards, but this is something that simply should not happen.

“No one deserves to be assaulted, but our staff are there to help people in their hour of need; they are there to protect and save the lives of the public.”

Staffside Chair, Stuart Gardner added: “We will work with the Trust to push for charges to be brought against this individual and should he be convicted, we hope that the courts will use the full powers now in place through the new Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 to hand down a punishment that will not leave ambulance staff feeling let down.

“The public have made their feelings known about such cases and we hope the courts will take that on board.”


Ambulance window smashed (29-11-18)

Forging an alliance to improve patient care

Thursday 22nd November 2018 – 3.00pm – Murray MacGregor.

Three ambulance services have announced plans to form an alliance that could have a real impact on patient care.

Between them, South East Coast, South Western and West Midlands Ambulance Services take over 2.5 million 999 calls every year.  The three Trusts plan to form an alliance that will see them working even more closely to deliver efficiency savings to invest in front line services.

The alliance expects to deliver savings through initiatives such as the joint procurement of supplies, including equipment and fuel.  In addition, the three will work collaboratively to share best practice across the area for the benefit of patients and staff.  They will also work on improving resilience between the organisations for planned events and major incidents.

The work will draw upon existing benchmarking and evidence from the National Audit Office investigation into ambulance services, and more recently, the report from Lord Carter into efficiency and productivity.

There are no plans to merge services or restructure existing operations, but the changes mean that the three Trusts can make every pound of taxpayers’ money work as efficiently as possible.

Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “I can see real improvements in the way we work coming from the development of our relationships between organisations.  In particular I can see how we will improve the resilience of our Services which can only benefit staff and patients alike.”

Ken Wenman, Chief Executive of South Western Ambulance Service, said: “I am really excited by this new alliance.  There are significant benefits for both our people and our patients from the three services working more closely together.  It will allow us to reduce duplication and learn from best practice which will save money and ultimately improve the care we provide for our patients.”

Daren Mochrie Chief Executive of South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “This is the right thing to do for our patients and our staff.  By forming this partnership, we will be able to bring together the knowledge and experience of three Trusts to explore ways to reduce variation in some areas and develop new joint initiatives that will untimely enhance the quality of the care for our patients.”

The decision to move towards an alliance was agreed on Tuesday (20th November) by the Chief Executives and Chairs of the three Trusts follows the recommendations of the Carter report, which described ambulance services working in an alliance to deliver efficiency savings and improved productivity.

WMAS Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, said: “There are clear advantages of the three organisations working together which can only benefit staff and the public we serve.  This alliance will allow us to improve the care we provide to patients whilst supporting our staff who work incredibly hard every day.”

SWAST Chairman, Tony Fox, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the best the three ambulance services has to offer, use the significant purchasing power we collectively have and learn from the experience and share best practice between alliance partners to improve the quality of the service to our patients here in the South West.”

SEACAMB Chairman, David Astley, said: “I am confident that, by working closely in partnership with our colleagues from SWAST and WMAS, we will all be able to benefit from sharing best practice and making efficiencies through joint procurement to drive real improvements for our staff and our patients.”

Note to Editors

  • SECAMB: Covers 3,600 square miles and a population of 4.8 million. On average they receive 2,500 per day.
  • SWAST: Covers 10,000 square miles (20% of mainland England) with a population of 5.5m. The Trust receives, on average 3,200 calls per day.
  • WMAS: Covers 5,000 square miles with a population of 5.6 million. The Trust receives on average 4,000 calls per day.

The three services have a joint income of over £700 million, which means greater economies of scale for procurement.


ambulance group

New partnership ‘blue lights’ the way for University and Ambulance Service

Wednesday 14th November 2018 – 2.45pm – Murray MacGregor

The University of Wolverhampton and West Midlands Ambulance Service have joined forces to create the UK’s first university-ambulance trust.

The two organisations have forged the new partnership which will see them both working together even closer on collaborative projects, research, sharing clinical expertise, joint curriculum development and staff exchanges.

It will also involve the University helping the service to develop and accredit the continuous professional development available to its staff.  Already, the University’s Paramedic Science students are guaranteed a job with the service if they pass their course and all necessary professional tests.

University Launch 4

The move means the service has changed its name to West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, becoming the first university ambulance service in the country.

Another key part in the partnership will be the joint development of courses and research in the area of emergency management.

The University has recently set up its Emergency Management and Resilience Centre at its Telford Innovation Campus which looks at issues around emergency planning, disaster management, resilience and response at a local, regional, national and international level.

University Launch 6.jpg

Speaking at a formal launch event at the University of Wolverhampton, Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We are delighted to be working with West Midlands Ambulance Service to further strengthen the relationship and work between the two organisations.

“We are training more and more paramedics and the partnership will see this level increasing further. We feel it also recognises the role of Paramedic as being at graduate level and a specialist position within the health service.

“As well as the graduate level opportunities it will create, we are also excited about the collaborative work we will carry out with the service to help train and upskill their existing staff and working together on research around Emergency Management and Resilience.”

Univeristy Launch 7.jpg

Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “This link up with the University of Wolverhampton formally recognises the role we play both in the education of paramedics and research activities to advance paramedic science.  More and more of our staff are receiving a university education.”

WMAS Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, Kim Nurse, said: “We have been the leading ambulance service in the development of paramedics through a university process.  Our close partnerships and collaborations mean that over the last decade, literally thousands of students have undertaken placements with the Trust as they learn their profession.  Currently over 700 student paramedics are being trained with a more than 400 more entering full-time study.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service works with four universities to train paramedics: the University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University and University of Coventry.

WMAS also has an extensive research portfolio, participating in work that is of international significance, which will be developed further over time.  This has included studies into the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrests; the use of pre-hospital blood products for traumatic haemorrhage; the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in a prehospital setting for patients with acute respiratory failure; and the use of GTN in patients with hyperacute stroke.

Univeristy Launch 9.jpg


If used, please credit the images to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Urgent referral team goes live helping patients and hospitals alike

Monday 5th November 2018 – 7.04pm – Murray MacGregor.

Today saw the return of a service that will help some of the sickest patients we see get to hospital on time while helping the 999 service get to patients even more quickly.

After weeks of planning, hard work from numerous departments within WMAS, today saw the PTS Urgent Referral Tier return for the winter months.

Tactical Commander, James Williams, said: “Last winter was one of the most challenging we have ever faced.  One of the ways we helped ensure ambulance crews got to 999 calls quickly was to launch the Urgent Referral Tier.

“The crews are made up on one member of our non-emergency patient transport service and a clinician, usually a paramedic.

“Together they transport patients who have already been assessed by a clinician, often a GP, who has decided they require attendance at hospital and are sufficiently poorly that they need to be taken by ambulance.   Equally, they will help the hospitals by taking patients home once they have been discharged.

By getting these crews to do the transfer, it means our frontline ambulances can concentrate on the 999 calls.

“Over the winter we will have 12 crews operating from Coventry, Dudley, Frankley, Gravelly Hill and Wolverhampton, solely attending urgent removal cases.

“These staff will play a vital role in helping to reduce the pressure on A&E Departments  and our frontline ambulances.”

Pictured: Some of the staff at our Gravelly Hill base just before they set off earlier today.

Urgent Referal Tier (5-11-18)