Stoke Hub staff join Gordon’s walk

Murray MacGregor – Friday 30th August 2019 – 8.01am.

Four staff from Stoke Hub have climbed the highest peak in south Wales in memory of the brother of one of the paramedics who died suddenly from a heart attack at just 45 years.

The sponsored walk has raised over £3,500 for the British Heart Foundation and their campaign to raise awareness of heart health and the small things that everyone can do to help themselves and their research into heart disease.

The walk was organised by Paramedic Rachel Smith.  It was her brother Gordon who so tragically died.  She was joined by fellow paramedics Rob Palmer and Lucy Barrow along with Technician Nicola Smith.  They completed the walk along with friends of Gordon who came from throughout the country to remember him.

Between them, the 20 people in the group, they cumulatively climbed 11,000 metres, walked over 100 miles while climbing Pen y Fan.

Gordon sister Rachel said: “Sadly, Gordon died suddenly earlier this year after suffering a heart attack.  Gordon’s Walk took place because his friends wanted to do something to raise funds and remember a unique and special person who is very much missed by his family, friends and colleagues.  It’s a great way to remember him and support each other.

“Gordon was in a high-risk category, but no one really knew, or expected him to have a fatal heart attack, so having that knowledge is the first step towards a healthy heart and less heartbreak.

“We want to raise awareness of heart health and the small things that everyone can do to help themselves. We chose to walk for our fundraiser because walking regularly is great exercise and can really make a difference.

“As a paramedic, we obviously see lots of patients who have heart issues so to lose your brother to heart disease at such a young age was a real shock.

“It therefore seemed like a natural thing to do to raise money for such a worth cause.  There are lots of things that we can all do to help ourselves.”

You can still make a donation via the group’s JustGiving page which can be found can be found here.   They hope that they will reach at least £4,500 once all of the moneys have been collected.

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Gordon's Walk 2

The whole group who walked to remember Gordon

WMAS strikes Gold in recognition of Armed Forces Employer Scheme

Jamie Arrowsmith – Wednesday 28th August 2019 – 3.15pm.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been recognised for the support it shows to the armed forces community by being awarded an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.

Issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Gold Award represents the highest badge of honour available to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans, and their families.

As part of the process of achieving the Gold Award, the Trust has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and engaged with the MOD’s Career Transition Partnership and the Step Into Health programme to promote the recruitment of service leavers, as well as honouring the individual pledges of support.

WMAS employs more than 100 veterans and were the first ambulance service to provide an access course in order to help complete the transition to the Trust.

The service also boasts a network of Military Champions who were instrumental in setting up the access course and act as advocates, ensuring all former members of the military receive the support they need when joining and throughout their time with WMAS.

The Trust will be presented with its award, together with other successful employers, at the National Army Museum in London on Tuesday 12 November.

Director of Workforce and Military Champion at WMAS, Kim Nurse, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised with a Gold Award as it highlights the level of importance the Trust puts on supporting members of the military.

“As a service we are able to offer a long-term career option for those coming back into civilian life and the skills they have gained during their military career and whilst serving as Reservists has great benefit for the patients they treat and for their work with the Trust in general.”

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.”

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Fatal RTC in Ross on Wye

Claire Brown – Sunday 25th August 2019 –6.55pm

Two people have died, and two ambulance staff have been injured following a road traffic collision in Herefordshire this morning.

An ambulance crew from West Midlands Ambulance Service was involved in a road traffic collision with a car on the A49 near to the junction of the A4137 just outside of Ross on Wye, Herefordshire at 6.11am (Sunday). The ambulance was not responding to a 999 call at the time of the collision. Four ambulances, three paramedic officers and an emergency doctor from Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS) responded to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “The two occupants of the car sadly died at the scene.

“Two ambulance staff received treatment by ambulance colleagues on scene for injuries not believed to be serious before being taken to Hereford County Hospital for further assessment.

The Trust will work closely with Officers from West Mercia Police on the investigation which is already underway.”

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Trust remains the only ‘Outstanding’ Ambulance Service

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 22nd August 2019 – 12.01am.

The results are in and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has once again rated West Midlands Ambulance Service as ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible rating from health and social care regulator.

In their report, they say: “The Trust and its staff should be very proud of what they do.”

The CQC inspected the Service in April and June looking at our core services of urgent and emergency care and patient transport services along with the leadership of the organisation.

We have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ for our services being effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and Good for whether our services are safe.

The CQC’s Chief Inspector, Professor Ted Baker, said: “WMAS was the first ambulance service in England to receive an Outstanding rating and I am pleased to announce that it continues to provide an excellent service.

“There was a positive culture that supported and valued staff and a strong and embedded focus on continuous improvement to offer the best quality service for patients, and effective systems for identifying risks or plans to eliminate or reduce them.

“Overwhelmingly this is an Outstanding trust and the hard work of staff across the trust continues to be exemplary.  WMAS are making a real difference to people, and the trust and its staff should be very proud of what they do.”

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh said: “This is fantastic news and is down to the hard work of staff and the volunteers who support us, for providing the best possible care to patients across the West Midlands.

“I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of you for helping us to maintain our position as the best ambulance service in the country.  That’s not me saying it, but the organisation that looks at the safety and care of our patients.

“This rating reflects the hard work and professionalism of our staff and provides the recognition they rightly deserve.

“To have independent inspectors make such positive comments about the Trust is incredible; it is rare that any Trust has received such high praise from the CQC.

“I am particularly pleased that they have specifically highlighted the work of the Patient Transport Service (PTS), who were more challenged the last time the CQC came.  Today’s report specifically comments on how responsive PTS staff are to the changing needs of patients and highlights the work of the ambulance liaison assistants who support patients waiting for transport to minimise distress.”

Non-Emergency Services Operations Delieverry Director, Michelle Brotherton, who runs the PTS service said: “I’m delighted with the progress that we have made over the last two and a half years.”

“We do accept that there is further work to be done and we will continue to strive to improve services and support staff even better than we already are.

“We have already identified an extensive programme of work that will allow us to continue our progress which will improve the care we provide to patients and help our staff to carry out their roles within the Trust.”

Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, added: “Helping others is at the heart of everything we do and I am hugely pleased that the CQC saw a positive, patient centred culture within the Trust with hard working staff proud to work here and making a real difference to patients’ lives.

“Compassion is a large part of our role and I am equally proud that the report highlighted staff were outstanding in the way they support people who are distressed or overwhelmed in stressful situations.

“Quality and safety are key priorities for us; they are essential for running an effective ambulance service and I’m pleased that this was highlighted by the CQC as was our strong and stable leadership team.

“Congratulations to everyone.”

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“Two uniforms, one job” initiative shortlisted for prestigious award

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 5.20pm.

The work West Midlands Ambulance Service undertakes supporting former members of the military and serving reservists has been recognised by making the shortlist of a prestigious award.

The submission, ‘Two Uniforms, One Job’ has made it through to the final of the 2019 Health Service Journal Awards in the Reservist Support Initiative category.

The panel recognised the ambition, visionary spirit and demonstrably positive impact that the ‘Two Uniforms, One Job’ initiative has had on patients and staff experiences within the health sector.

Over 3% of our workforce have previously served with the military, be that Navy, airforce or army and the Trust actively encourages staff to continue their military career as well as their work with the ambulance service.

HR Manager, Maria Watson, said: “Candidates from the military and reserve forces come with structure and purpose and a definite sense of belonging.  Many of their skills are extremely transferrable which means many find it an easy transition.

“We believe that WMAS offers a long-term career option as they come back into civilian life.  Equally, the skills they gain as a Reservists has great benefit for the patients they treat and for their work with the Trust in general.

“We firmly believe that supporting our Reservists has a positive effect on their jobs in the ambulance service and equally the skills and experience gained within the NHS benefits their military careers.

Recently former RAF Intelligence Officer, Chris Booker spoke about natural progression from military to the ambulance service:  “One of the things I missed after coming out of the military was the camaraderie, but the ambulance service has given me that and I’d recommend any of my former colleagues to follow suit.

Speaking about the nomination, WMAS Director of Workforce and Military Champion at the Trust, Kim Nurse, added: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted as this recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 12 months implementing ‘Two Uniforms One Job’.

Chris added: “The skills you learn in the military are an excellent fit with the ambulance service:

HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan, said “We would like to congratulate WMAS on being nominated in the category of Reservist Support Initiative Award recognising their outstanding contribution ahead of this year’s 2019 HSJ awards.  Each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”

The full list of nominees for the 2019 HSJ awards can be found at https://awards.hsj.co.uk/2019-shortlist – winners will be presented at the HSJ awards ceremony, at the Battersea Evolution Centre, London on Wednesday 6th November.

4×4 and bike in collision at junction

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 10.36am.

A motorcyclist has been taken to a major trauma centre after a crash with a 4×4 at a junction.

The incident happened at just after 8.00am on the A46 Alcester Road at a junction near the Stag at Redhill Pub between Alcester and Stratford upon Avon.

An ambulance was sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a collision between a 4×4 and a motorbike.  The rider was found about 20ft away from the collision site.

“The man was assessed and treated for potentially serious injuries before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

“The man driving the 4×4 was uninjured.”

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front ambulance lights 2018

Fatal flat fire

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 8.25am.

One man has died after a fire in a flat in Coventry.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Jenner Street at just before 4.30am this morning.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found firefighters actively fighting a fire in a flat.

“Unfortunately, when a man was brought out of the property it was immediately obvious that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead.  He was the only casualty.

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Night - Ambulance in street (2)

(Library Picture)

WMAS to work with commissioners to take 111 service to next level

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 8.00am.

Plans that would see the integration of the 999 and 111 services in the West Midlands will lead to significant improvements for patient care.

An agreement has been reached that will see West Midlands Ambulance Service take over the running of NHS 111 service in the majority of the West Midlands in November.

The plan will see the 111 and 999 services integrated into a single service and will lead to further developments in integration with local services for the benefit of patients.

The first step of this change will be for the service, across the West Midlands (except Staffordshire), to be transferred from Care UK to WMAS in early November 2019.

Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer for Integrated Urgent & Emergency Care, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said: “This is truly a first for the country and will lead to real benefits for patients and staff.

“The new service in development will see fewer patients being sent ambulances and a reduction in the number of patients asked to attend A&E. The new model will support more patients being cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs.

“This will also include more patients being provided with care over the phone by a team including GPs; other healthcare staff including advanced nurse practitioners; community mental health teams; pharmacists, dental nurses, paramedics and midwives.

“We would also expect to see more calls diverted to GPs (in and out of hours), urgent treatment centres and rapid response services operated in the community.”

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We have an outstanding track record in running complex clinical call handling operations.  This expertise will allow us to bring real improvements to the 111 service for both patients and our staff.

“We will initially deliver the current service over the winter period but will then look to properly integrate the two in 2020.  Staff currently employed by Care UK will TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) to WMAS.

“We will also be looking to significantly increase the number of staff so that there is more resilience over the winter period.

“I firmly believe that this will be positive for both sets of staff for example, providing new opportunities to develop and progress their careers.

“People who need help in an urgent or emergency situation are often anxious and may be unsure how to access NHS services.  By integrating 111 and 999, patients can be better directed to the most appropriate care for their needs.

“It won’t matter which number you use, it will be handled by a call handler who will be able to deal with either type.  Call 999 only for life threatening conditions.  Call 111 if it isn’t an immediate emergency or a life-threatening condition; whatever number you ring the ambulance service will manage your call.”

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NHS 111

 

One to hospital as car and tram collide

Jamie Arrowsmith – Monday 19th August 2019 – 10.25am.

Five people have been treated at the scene of a collision between a car and a tram this morning, one of whom has been taken to hospital.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the junction of the A41 and A454 in Wolverhampton City Centre at 8.20am and sent two ambulances, a senior paramedic and a paramedic officer to the scene.

Car v tram 5 19th August 2019.jpg

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a car that had overturned following a collision with a tram.

“The driver of the car, a woman, was the only occupant of the vehicle and she had to be cut free through the roof with the help of the fire service.

“She was assessed by ambulance staff and treated for injuries not believed to be serious before being taken to New Cross Hospital in a stable condition.

“There were 29 people on the tram, 25 of whom did not require treatment or assessment.

“The driver, a man, was treated for minor injuries and discharged at the scene.

“Two women, who were passengers, were treated for the effects of shock, whilst a man, also a passenger, was treated for non-serious injuries. Again, all three were discharged at the scene.

“The collision has resulted in significant traffic delays in the area which are expected to last for most of the day whilst the vehicles are recovered.”

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Notes to Editors:

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

Man fatally injured in RTC

Jamie Arrowsmith – Monday 19th August 2019 – 9.40am.

A man has died following a road traffic collision in the early hours of this morning in which a car crashed into a tree.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the Straight Mile in Bourton on Dunsmore at 2.26am and sent one ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Car to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a car that had suffered significant damage after crashing into a tree.

“There was one patient, a man, who was still inside the vehicle.

“Sadly, on assessment of the patient, it quickly became apparent nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

“There were no other patients from the incident.”

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Motorcyclist seriously injured

Jamie Arrowsmith – Friday 16th August 2019 – 8.35am.

A man has suffered multiple serious injuries following a collision between a car and a motorbike last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Coleman Street in Wolverhampton at 6.55pm and sent one ambulance, a senior paramedic, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.

A spokesman for West Ambulance Service said: “Crews arrived to find one patient, the motorcyclist, who had fallen from his bike in the collision with the car and come to rest underneath a van.

“The motorcyclist was quickly freed from underneath the van so ambulance staff could fully assess him.

“He had suffered multiple serious injuries in the collision and received specialist trauma care at the scene.

“He was then transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on blue lights and sirens to receive further treatment.

“There were no other patients from the incident.”

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Man confirmed dead by ambulance staff

A man has died after an incident in Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a slow speed RTC involving a van at the rear entrance to Shugborough Hall near Stafford at 7.19am this morning (Thursday).

Off duty emergency services staff came across the incident and started CPR on a the man.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford were sent to the scene.

Ambulance service staff were told that the driver appeared to have had a medical episode at the wheel.

Ambulance staff took over treatment providing advanced life support to the patient.

Sadly, it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

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Five to hospital from two-car RTC

Jamie Arrowsmith – Thursday 15th August 2019 – 10.20am.

Five people have been taken to hospital, one in a critical condition, following a two-car road traffic collision last night, one of which had overturned.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the B4396 in Knockin Heath, Oswestry, at 11.20pm and sent five ambulances, a senior paramedic, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival at the scene, crews discovered two cars with significant damage, one of which had overturned and come to rest in a field. There were three patients from the overturned car.

“A man, who was a rear seat passenger had to be cut free from the vehicle. He was treated for very serious injuries and received specialist trauma care at the scene before being transported to Royal Stoke University Hospital, where on his arrival he was described as critical. The doctor travelled on the back of the ambulance to help continue treatment en-route to hospital.

“The front seat passenger, also a man, was already out of the vehicle and was treated for serious injuries before being taken to the same hospital.

“A third man from the car was treated for injuries not believed to be serious and taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

“A woman from the second car was taken to Princess Royal Hospital after being assessed at the scene whilst a fifth patient, also from the second car, was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.”

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It’s a hair raising (or shortening) proposition

Murray MacGregor – Monday 12th August 2019 – 5.15pm.

When your hair is around two feet long, you need to have a pretty good reason to cut the whole lot off.

But that is exactly what West Midlands Ambulance Service Call Assessor James Doyle will be doing; and yes, he does have a very good reason – he’s trying to raise £500 for Mind, the mental health charity.

He’ll also be donating his hair to the Little Princess Trust which provides real hair wigs to children and young adults who have lost their hair to cancer or other illnesses.

James said: “I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder, as well as depression.  In 2015 I suffered from a very severe episode of depression but found a way of coping was by growing my hair and then donating it.

“Since that episode, my mental health has greatly improved and continues to get better.  I have support from colleagues, the Trust, friends, and family for when I have difficult times, but many don’t.

“As a call handler I take a lot of mental health calls, which can be distressing, not only for the patient but for their friends, family and even myself.  Sadly, sometimes the calls end in tragedy.  I don’t believe it needs to be this way.

“I’ve learned not to hide my mental health, although it’s hard to open up and I encourage others to talk openly about theirs. Too many people are silent about their mental health and it’s the silence that kills.

“I hope this event will prove that no matter who you are you’re not alone and you shouldn’t be afraid to open up.”

James will be cutting his hair on Thursday 15th August at Couture Lounge, 6 Queen Street, Wellington, Telford, TF1 1SN.

You can donate to this excellent cause here.

 

 

Serious RTC leaves two hurt

Murray MacGregor – Monday 12th August 2019 – 9.40am.

Two people have been injured, one seriously after a two car crash on Sunday afternoon.

It happened at about 4.40pm outside the Severn Trent Water Plant, close to the junction of St Martins Road and the B4115, to the south of Coventry.

The first ambulance arrived five minutes after the 999 call and was backed up by a second ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance found two cars that had suffered significant front end damage.

“A woman in her 70s in one vehicle was in a serious condition.  Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to rapidly extricate her from the wreckage.  After treatment at the scene, she was taken by ambulance to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire with multiple injuries – the doctor from the Cosford aircraft travelled with the ambulance crew.

“The driver of the other vehicle had been able to get out of his vehicle.  The man in his 30s was treated for less serious injuries before being taken to the same hospital by ambulance.”

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Team 999 set to help find a donor match for ‘Finn the Fabulous’

Claire Brown – Friday 9th August 2019 – 2.45pm.

Ambulance staff from Bromsgrove Hub are joining forces with 999 colleagues later this month to help find a donor match for a little boy who urgently needs a transplant.

Bromsgrove-based Clinical Team Mentors Abi Coombs and Ruth Hodgson and Technician Caroline Hadley have been following the story of ‘Finn the Fabulous’; a seven-year-old boy called Finn Hill from Clent who has a rare and life-threatening condition where the immune system begins to damage a person’s own tissues and organs.

His only hope of a cure is a stem cell transplant from a perfectly matched donor which has led his family to work tirelessly to raise awareness about the condition as well as hold events to get people to register to be donors by doing a simple mouth swab.

Abi, Ruth and Caroline have now helped to organise a tri-service open day at Bromsgrove Fire and Police Station on Saturday 31st August, 12pm – 4pm, where people can come to sign up as a blood stem cell donor and have a swab taken in the hope of finding a perfect match for Finn.

Caroline said: “Finn’s story is one that has captured our attention and our hearts. Aged just seven, he’s been battling this condition for three years of his short life already. Organising ambulance representation at the tri-service open day is the least we could do to ensure Finn gets as much help as possible to find a stem cell match to save his life.”

If you aren’t already on the UK Stem Cell Register and are free on Saturday 31st August, please come along! Alternatively, you can visit the UK Stem Cell Register via dkms.org.uk or anthonynolan.org. To find out more about Finn the Fabulous, visit https://www.facebook.com/finnthefabulous/.

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Notes to Editors:  Photographs courtesy of HWFRS.

Team 999 Set to Help Finn Find a Donor Match 4

Girl seriously injured in Sparkhill RTC

Claire Brown – Friday 9th August 2019 – 8.30am.

A girl received trauma care by ambulance staff at the scene of a road traffic collision in Birmingham yesterday afternoon.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a collision involving a car and a pedestrian on Leominster Road, Sparkhill at 4.35pm (Thursday). Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a MERIT trauma doctor on board were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a girl who was in a serious condition following a collision with a car.

“The team of ambulance staff worked to carefully assess and administer specialist trauma care to the girl before she was taken by land ambulance on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where, upon arrival, her condition was described as critical.”

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Fatal crash in Staffordshire

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 8th August 2019 – 9.15am.

One man has died and a woman has been seriously injured after a three vehicle crash in Staffordshire.

The incident happened at just before 10.30pm on Wednesday evening on the A53 Newcastle Road near the junction of Sandy Lane in the village of Ashley between Market Drayton and Stoke.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and two doctors from the North Staffordshire BASICS scheme were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a serious collision between a van, a 4×4 and a car.

“The van was on fire and sadly, nothing could be done to save a man who was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A woman in her 40s from the 4×4 had been pulled from the vehicle by quick thinking bystanders fearing it might catch fire too.  She was assessed and treated at the scene for serious injuries.

“She was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital; one of the doctors travelled with the ambulance crew.

“No-one in the car was hurt.”

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Night - Ambulances on motorway

Seven injured in Oswestry RTC

Claire Brown – Wednesday 7th August 2019 – 1.00pm.

Two children have been airlifted to hospital with five other patients needing treatment following a two vehicle RTC in Shropshire this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the A483 Llynclys crossroads, Oswestry at 10.28am today (Wednesday). Four ambulances, three paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Tatenhill both with BASICS doctors on board were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find two cars which had been involved in a collision.

“Two children, a girl and a boy, were assessed and received trauma treatment by the team of ambulance staff and doctors on scene for potentially serious injuries. They were both airlifted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for specialist trauma care.

“A boy, girl, two men and a woman who were also involved in the collision were assessed on scene after suffering a range of less serious injuries. All five patients were given treatment before they were conveyed to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital by land ambulances for further checks.”

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