Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 29th December 2021 – 1.00pm.
It was a busy weekend for the hard-working staff at West Midlands Ambulance Service with a sharp rise in the number of 999 calls compared to previous years.
Over the five days from the 24th to the 28th of December, the Trust took no fewer than 22,826 emergency calls. This compares tot 19,467 for the same dates in 2019 and is equivalent to a 17.3% increase.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I would like to thank the many thousands of staff who worked over the Christmas period while most people were enjoying time with their family and friends.
“It is not just the staff on the road who worked so hard; I want to particularly note the work of the staff in our control rooms. These staff are at the forefront of everything that we do, finding out where we are required but also what is wrong with the patient so that our ambulance crews know what they are going into.
“The task at hand for our call handlers and dispatchers is often just as difficult as that experienced by our road staff; they all work exceptionally hard.
“I also want to thank the staff who support these staff, be it the vehicle preparation operatives who clean, fuel and restock the ambulances; the fleet mechanics who make sure we always have ambulances available but also the managers who look after the staff – it is a real team effort.”
If you fancy the challenge of joining such a fantastic team, we are currently recruiting to a wide range of job roles. You can find full details at www.jobs.nhs.uk – positions include:
Student Paramedics Ref no: 217-VN323-21-22
Call Assessor Brierley Hill Ref no: 217-VN345-21-22
Call Assessor Stafford Ref no: 217-VN346-21-22
Fleet Mechanic Stafford Ref no: 217-VN328-21-22
Fleet Mechanic Willenhall Ref no: 217-VN329-21-22
Fleet Mechanic Sandwell Ref no: 217-VN330-21-22
VPO Worcester Ref no: 217-VN359-21-22
VPO Regional Reserve list Ref no: 217-VN358-21-22
The public can assist the ambulance service by using 111 online for urgent advice and only calling 999 in life threatening cases. Also, please do not call back to see where the ambulance is or if there is an ETA – only call back if the patient’s condition has worsened or you no longer need an ambulance.
Note to Editors
We have compared the data to 2019 as in 2020, much of the West Midlands was in some form of lockdown and therefore the data may not be comparable
Jordan Eggington – Saturday 25th December 2021 – 6am.
After another year full of incredible challenges and outstanding actions from staff, West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Anthony Marsh has issued a Christmas message to the thousands of staff and volunteers who have given so much to their communities over the past 12 months.
Mr Marsh begins: “I wanted to take this opportunity to record a personal Christmas message to all of our colleagues right across our organisation, to wish you all the very, very best for Christmas. The extent to which all of you have really stepped forward is a real testament to your ongoing professionalism, commitment and determination, all of which I am enormously grateful for. Always doing the right thing, often in difficult circumstances to support one another, to protect yourselves and each other and to do the right thing for the public and for our patients”
With a surge in the number COVID-19 cases of the Omicron variant over recent weeks, attention for much of the NHS is on increasing the number of staff and members of the public who are receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations and more recently the booster jab, when eligible. Mr Marsh is urging everyone to also continue with good hand hygiene and mask wearing: “It is even more important now that we carry on doing the right thing and continue to achieve the three ambitious objectives that I set out for the organisation for us all at the very start of the pandemic. Firstly, to protect all of our staff; to be able to help all of our patients; and thirdly to save as many lives as possible. Each of those objectives are as real today as they were at the very beginning of the pandemic and I’ll continue to do everything I can to protect you, so that together we can help all of our patients and we can save more lives.”
Staff and volunteers right across the NHS currently face substantial pressure, so it is incredibly important for colleagues to allow time over the festive period for self-care and reflection. Mr Marsh said: “This time of year is always special for us to be with families. As we move into Christmas and the New Year celebrations, given the pressure the NHS is under and the rise in COVID cases, I fear that the next few weeks are going to be even more challenging than we had hoped they would be. But I do really, really hope that you’re able to spend some quality time with your loved ones, time that you truly deserve.”
A road traffic collision involving one car last night has left a child with potentially life threatening injuries and a woman with potentially serious injuries.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 10.28pm last night to reports of a road traffic collision on Church Road, South Yardley and sent three ambulances, two paramedic officers and a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival, we found two patients, a woman and a child. The first patient, the child, a passenger in the car, was assessed and had sustained potentially life threatening injuries, she received treatment from ambulance staff on scene and was conveyed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for further treatment.
The second patient, the driver, was assessed and had sustained potentially serious injuries, she received treatment on scene and was conveyed to Heartlands Hospital for further treatment.
A chance meeting five years ago with WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh led to a West Bromwich schoolboy setting his sights on becoming a paramedic. Today, William Brown has not only left school, but has completed his training and is now saving lives in his chosen career.
William, who is currently working out of Sandwell Hub in West Bromwich, met Mr Marsh while studying at sixth form at the Health Futures UTC (University Technical College) in West Bromwich. He was in a board meeting at the UTC which William attended where the vital role that paramedics play in the community was discussed.
Following the meeting, William took part in an ambulance cadet programme at the UTC which was tutored by West Midlands Ambulance Service alongside St John’s Ambulance. The programme allowed students to learn first aid skills and familiarise themselves with what is involved in prehospital care.
William said: “Meeting Mr Marsh inspired me and sparked my interest in the ambulance service.
“Hearing him speak about the service made me realise that patient care begins in the community, not just at the hospital and that paramedics play a vital and active role in delivering this care; I knew immediately this was something I wanted to be a part of.
“This influenced my career plans and I knew I wanted to become a paramedic; it’s a decision which has been life changing to say the least! It is a journey which has not only fuelled my professional development but shaped my personality.
“This highlights the limitless potential that we hold when we set our minds to a goal. As I start my career I hope to not only serve, but to inspire others and make a positive difference.”
“For anyone considering a career within the ambulance service, if you’re an individual who is caring and passionate about making a difference whilst challenging and developing yourself, this is the time to do so and be part of an innovative change.”
Mr Marsh, met up again with William after the Trust marked Remembrance Day last month. He said: “The ambulance service has so many fantastic careers available to people from every part of our community.
“Having served as a paramedic on the frontline, I know what a difference our staff can make. But more than that, the additional skills our paramedics now have, since I worked on the road, make such a difference to the population we serve.
“They are able to treat so many more people at home, reducing the pressure on our hospital colleagues and making sure patients get the care they need in the best place for them.
“The paramedic profession is a relatively young one, but it has so much potential. I know William embodies that pursuit of providing the best care possible while also increasing the skills that paramedics can bring to patients.
“I am absolutely delighted that our chance meeting five years ago was able to inspire him and I am sure that he will do the same for many other people.”
Claire Brown – Friday 17th December 2021 – 1.00pm.
A pedestrian received advanced trauma care by ambulance staff before being blue lighted to a major trauma centre following an RTC in Shropshire yesterday.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 4.19pm to reports of a collision involving a car and a pedestrian on Crossways, Church Stretton (Thursday). Two ambulances, two paramedic officers, a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “On arrival at the scene crews found a pedestrian, an elderly man, in a critical condition. The team of medics worked quickly to administer advanced trauma care to stabilise his condition on scene before he was blue lighted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further specialist care.”
Claire Brown – Friday 17th December 2021 – 10.00am.
A woman and a girl have received trauma care from ambulance staff before being conveyed to hospital following a serious house fire in Stoke-on-Trent.
West Midlands Ambulance Service received multiple 999 calls to reports of a house fire in Beverley Drive, Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent at 10.57pm last night (Thursday). Two ambulance crews, two paramedic officers, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedics, a BASICS emergency doctor, a MERIT trauma doctor and a critical care paramedic responded to the incident.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “When ambulance crews arrived on scene, they found a house well alight. The two occupants, a woman and a girl, were out of the property.
“Ambulance staff worked as a team to provide specialist trauma care to the woman and the girl who had both sustained serious injuries in the fire. Once stabilised on scene the girl was conveyed on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital whilst the woman was blue lighted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further specialist care.”
Claire Brown – Friday 17th December 2021 – 9.40am.
A three vehicle RTC in Nuneaton yesterday has left one man with potentially serious injuries and another patient requiring hospital treatment.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Gipsy Lane, Nuneaton at 4.32pm yesterday (Thursday). Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a critical care car from The Air Ambulance Service with a BASICS doctor and paramedic on board attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Ambulance crews arrived to find a serious RTC involving three vehicles. A passenger in a van involved in the collision, a man, was trapped in the vehicle. Ambulance staff worked closely with fire colleagues to extricate him from the van whilst he received trauma care for potentially serious injuries. He was taken on blue lights to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further emergency care.
“A second patient was conveyed to the same hospital with less serious injuries whilst a third patient was discharged on scene with minor injuries.”
Claire Brown – Tuesday 7th December 2021 – 1.30pm.
Whilst stories of physical abuse towards frontline ambulance staff is all too familiar, the voices behind the 999s are speaking out about the levels of verbal abuse they receive on an all too regular basis.
Two West Midlands Ambulance Service call handlers, based at Tollgate control room in Staffordshire, volunteered to speak as part of the Together Against Abuse campaign by Together We’re Better Integrated Care System (ICS).
Our call handlers play a crucial part in getting help to the most seriously ill and injured patients throughout Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and beyond. In a video to support the Together Against Abuse Campaign, the two call assessors describe how their work is made so much harder by threats, not only to them, but their families.
Names are withheld.
Jeremy Brown, Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care Director, has worked for the service for 30 years both on the frontline as a paramedic and in control and knows all too well the abuse staff can face at times. He said: “Call assessors are the first voice you hear when you call 999 or 111 for our help. They are there to do the very best by each and every patient, being abusive, difficult and offensive to them is not going to help a patient and does have an impact on call assessors personally.
“When people call us for help, call assessors often talk to people at their most vulnerable and often at a person’s low point in their lives. Having taken 999 calls myself, I know how difficult a job it can be at times. Meanwhile, out on the road, our staff are subjected to verbal and physical abuse every single day. Our staff have recently been issued with body worn cameras and the Trust is also running a trial of stab vests. The public are clear, they find it abhorrent that such things happen, and we are now calling on the courts to reflect that strength of feeling when it comes to sentencing people convicted of such awful crimes.”
Jamie Arrowsmith – Friday 3rd December 2021 – 8.20am.
A pedestrian has suffered serious injuries following a collision with a van on the motorway this morning.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to a road traffic collision on the southbound carriageway of the M6, near to junction 10a, at 6.01am. Two ambulances, two paramedic officers and a MERIT trauma doctor attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival crews discovered two cars that had been involved in a collision. One of the drivers, a man, had then been involved in a second collision with a van, after he had got out of his car.
“He was treated for multiple serious injuries at the scene before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further treatment. The doctor travelled with the patient to help continue treatment en-route to hospital.
Jordan Eggington – Thursday 2nd December 2021 – 1:30pm.
“As wonderful as it is to be recognised, we know there is much more we can do to lead our sector in implementing a zero-emissions fleet.”
The importance of greener alternatives and looking after the planet we call home has been brought into sharp focus as of late, particularly with COP26 gracing the UK last month. Now, the Trust has proven itself as a trailblazer for sustainability with a pioneering vehicle fleet at this year’s GREENFLEET Awards. The event at the British Motor Museum in Warwick last night (Wednesday 1st December) saw WMAS shortlisted in two categories: ‘Public Sector Fleet of the Year’ and ‘Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year’, one of which the Trust was incredibly grateful to win.
The evening, which was also made up of categories such as ‘Electrical Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year’ and ‘GREENFLEET Vehicle of the Year’ showcased innovation by both the fleets themselves, as well as those that supply them. Not to mention individual recognition too, with Fleet Manager awards, together with the coveted EV and AFV Champions.
The ‘Public Sector Commercial Fleet of the Year’ is a new category for public sector organisations with a fleet of more than 300 commercial vehicles that demonstrates a reduction in CO2 and other pollutants through fuel efficiency programmes, green fleet management and driver awareness training. The Trust was up against Oxford City Council and Hull City Council in this category and gratefully received the prize. GREENFLEET noted the additional challenges the ambulance service faces when it comes to providing a strong fleet, which also strives to do its best for the environment.
Tony Page, Head of Fleet & Facilities Management, said: “We were proud to represent the service last night and receive a very warm welcome to the stage in a room of industry leaders and fleet operators, in what has been such a challenging year. Although there were just a handful of us at the event to accept the award, this is certainly a joint contribution, and the efforts of the whole fleet team certainly don’t go unnoticed – an immense amount of hard work goes on in the background for which I am extremely grateful. WMAS operates the newest ambulance fleet in the UK, which is designed with the lightest material technology available in the industry, ensuring our vehicles have the lowest emissions possible at this time. As wonderful as it is to be recognised, we know there is much more we can do to lead our sector in implementing a zero-emissions fleet. In the New Year, all electric Patient Transport Service (PTS) ambulances will be brought into service, alongside the already growing electric vehicles in support services we use. We will have electric vehicles in all areas of our operation in 2022 – another first for the sector.”
Tony was also shortlisted in the ‘Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year’ category, which recognises individuals who have demonstrated innovation, dedication, and commitment to making carbon reduction a priority. Unfortunately, he just missed out on this prize, but was honoured to be commended, nonetheless. Craig Cooke, Executive Director of Strategic and Digital Integration, said: “Tony is the driving force behind our fleet operations and ensures our crews have the very best ambulances available to them each day. The ambulance fleet in the West Midlands is the newest in our country and is under a continual improvement and investment programme which the Trust is committed to, and we will continue to innovate, develop and invest in the latest fleet technology to implement more zero-emissions vehicles each year. I am extremely proud that Tony was nominated for the award on this occasion. A very well done and thank you for what you and all the team in Fleet deliver every day.”
Notes to editors:
In October 2020, the Trust took a major step forward in reducing its impact on the environment by launching the world’s first fully electric emergency ambulance which is operating every day in the city of Birmingham, delivering lifesaving patient care; it has the same medical equipment and capability as our diesel-powered fleet.