What’s it really like on the frontline?

West Midlands Ambulance Service is doing everything it can to keep staff safe and protect the people of the West Midlands during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our staff have some of the best protective equipment available including powered respirators.  It does mean that if you do call 999, our front-line ambulance staff may arrive wearing protective equipment, so please don’t be alarmed, it’s for everyone’s safety.

As an ambulance service, all of our staff are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide the best care and save as many lives as possible.

There is lots of misinformation doing the rounds about coronavirus, so it’s really important that you get your information from a trusted source.  Keep up-to-date by visiting the coronavirus pages on the NHS website.

This morning, paramedic Rob Moore spoke to BBC Radio WM Breakfast and talked about life on the frontline.

Your ambulance service needs you

Murray MacGregor – Monday 30th March 2020 – 5.20pmOur Staffm.

At a time when the country is pulling together to tackle the Corona Virus outbreak, your ambulance service is putting out an appeal to registered paramedics who live in the region to re-join West Midlands Ambulance Service to help treat the increasing numbers of patients.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has already significantly increased its capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients, but we want to go further still to ensure we can provide care to patients in their hour of need and save as many lives as possible.

As a result, we are looking for any paramedics who retired within the last two years or are working in the private sector for the likes of events medical companies who would like to come back into the NHS family to get in touch.  We have also had former members of staff contact us who went on a career break to look after children, offering to come back, which we welcome.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Over the last couple of years, we know that several hundred staff have retired from our service after giving many years of outstanding care to the public.

“We would like those paramedics to consider returning to WMAS so that we can increase the quality and amount of care that we can provide the public in these challenging times.

“Equally, we have already had a number of paramedics who normally provide medical cover at events such as horse racing come to us to offer their services, for which we are very grateful.

“We want to boost the number of paramedics we have available as much as possible, so re-employing former paramedics and those who work in the private sector who would like to join us makes sense.

Across our country we have seen how much we are all pulling together, from the astonishing scene last Thursday during ‘the big clap’ through to the amazing generosity of companies and individuals towards our staff; now we want to go one step further by increasing the number of paramedics to boost our ability to care for patients even further.

“For those who have retired; I know how much the time you spent with us meant to you; many of you have told me that when we have spoken.  I wouldn’t ask you to re-join if I didn’t think it was the right thing for the public of the West Midlands and our country.”

Those who would like to join the Service either on a short term or long term basis are invited to apply via NHS Jobs and look out for Job Reference: 217-VN488-19-20

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Our Staff

Over 1,000 people and hundreds of students want to help save lives

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 25th March 2020 – 9.00am.

In just three days, over 1,000 people applied to become a lifesaver in the West Midlands.  Together with hundreds of students, West Midlands Ambulance Service is enacting unprecedented plans to protect the public and save lives.

In these extraordinary times that face our country, we have put extensive plans that will see a substantial increase in staff numbers and upskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they can help the public.

Over recent weeks, we have increased the number of call assessors in both our 999 and 111 control rooms, but last weekend we asked for applications to increase that number further.  In just 72 hours, over 1,000 people had applied.

We are now fast tracking those applications with dozens of interviews held yesterday with more taking place on Friday.

In addition, the Trust has been working with our local university partners (Staffordshire, Coventry, Worcester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City) to recruit around 200 third year paramedic students.

These are students who are just weeks away from qualifying and have spent thousands of hours on our ambulances, working with our staff, treating patients.  They are very well trained and experienced already.

All of them will work with fully qualified paramedics and technicians on the road.  As of Monday, this has allowed us to double the number of ambulances operating from our Bromsgrove Hub, where we have gone from 20 crews a day to 40.

A further 130 Year 2 university graduate paramedics have also been taken on to work as assistants to our vehicle preparation operatives; the staff who play a vital role cleaning and re-stocking our ambulances which allows our clinical staff to spend more time treating patients.  This will double our capacity at a time when this role has never been more important.

Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “We are receiving huge support from our university students who are desperate to do their part to help the nation at this time.  Many are already very familiar to our staff and the response we have had from the team at Bromsgrove has been incredible with the students made to feel very welcome.

“These students would have qualified over the next few weeks as HCPC registered paramedics so are a tremendous asset for us and I have no doubt that they will help to save many lives over the coming weeks.  I am incredibly proud of the students and also our staff for doing the right thing to help patients.”

Our existing staff are also playing their part.  With the number of non-emergency appointments significantly reduced, 320 of our patient transport service staff have agreed to undertake additional training so that we can significantly increase our ability to transport GP patient referrals, hospital discharges and low acuity patients where appropriate using strict protocols.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We are dealing with a Global Pandemic and a National Emergency.  COVID-19 presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation.

“I am committed to doing everything necessary to protect the public and save lives.  Seeing the lengths that our staff are going to, to help people has never made me feel prouder to lead such an organisation.

“We have taken difficult decisions in recent weeks and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure we protect the 999 service, but it is vital that the public help us.

“The message is clear, Stay at home; Protect the NHS; Save lives. Anyone can spread the virus so:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home

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111 Pharmacist 1

Two women die in Moseley

Claire Brown – Monday 16th March 2020 – 4.25pm.

Two women have sadly died after being stabbed in Birmingham earlier today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that it was called by the police to reports of a stabbing an address in Belle Walk, Moseley, at 11.05am this morning (Monday).

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, a critical care car with an advanced paramedic on board and the West Midlands CARE Team medics were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival crews found one woman who was sadly confirmed deceased on scene. A second woman sustained serious injuries and was in a critical condition. She was given advanced life support before being taken by land ambulance on blue lights to hospital. Sadly, despite the best efforts, nothing could be done to save her, and she was confirmed dead at hospital a short time later.”

ENDS

Motorcyclist seriously injured in Oldbury

Claire Brown – Monday 16th March 2020 – 10.15am.

A motorcyclist is in a critical condition following a road traffic collision in Oldbury in the Black Country this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a collision involving a car and a motorcyclist on Regent Road in Tividale, Oldbury at 7.42am (Monday). An ambulance, paramedic officer, critical care car with an advanced paramedic on board and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a BASICS doctor on board attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Ambulance staff arrived to find a man, the motorcyclist, in a critical condition. They worked as a team to administer advanced trauma care on scene before the man was taken by land ambulance on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further emergency care.”

ENDS

Pedestrian dies in Burton-upon-Trent

Claire Brown – 12th March 2020 – 10.00am.

A pedestrian has died following a collision involving a car in Staffordshire earlier this morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called by East Midlands Ambulance Service after one of their crews came across the collision near Beech Hotel on Derby Road in Stretton at 0.31am today (Thursday). An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Sadly nothing could be done to save the pedestrian, a man, and he was confirmed dead on scene.”

ENDS

WMAS Scoops Award for it’s Support to the Armed Forces

Claire Brown – Wednesday 11th March 2020 – 3.45pm.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has scooped an award for the work it does to encourage members of the Armed Forces to come and work within the NHS.

The Step into Health Awards 2020 took place on Tuesday 10th March in Central London and celebrated the work of employers that are pledged to support Step into Health.  The programme recognises that veterans and people leaving the Armed Forces have transferable skills and the commitment that matches many roles within the ambulance service and wider NHS.

The awards also recognise the successes of former armed services personnel who have been through the programme and are now employed in the NHS.  As an ambulance service, the Trust actively supports reservists so that they can continue their military role while also working within the NHS.

The Trust’s Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, Kim Nurse, scooped the ‘NHS Advocate for Step into Health’ award jointly with another shortlisted candidate. The award recognised her determination to drive forward engagement at a local level, her influence to change behaviour within WMAS and for her dedicated support to members of the Armed forces community.

Kim, who attended the event with HR Manager Maria Watson and Military Champions Carl Pockett, Tim Atherton and Kelly Carr, had the privilege of being hosted by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge for a private reception at Kensington Palace ahead of the award ceremony.

Talking about her award, Kim said: “Staff who have previously worked in the armed forces are often ideally suited to roles within the ambulance service.  Many say that the ambulance service has the same feel and camaraderie that they so enjoyed while serving their country.  They see that they can continue to make a tremendous impact within the communities that we serve.

“It was an honour and a privilege to represent WMAS and showcase nationally all the excellent work and commitment given by our staff at this Step into Health Awards.  The Duke of Cambridge was interested to hear about the range of support we provide to encourage new military joiners and how our staff, who are undertaking reservist roles are provided with assistance.

“It is clear there is a real synergy of public duty values between those in the NHS and MOD and I am proud to have played a part in promoting our organisations career opportunities to such as wide audience.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

(pictured left to right: Carl Pockett, Maria Watson, Kim Nurse, Tim Atherton, Kelly Carr.”