Murray MacGregor – Monday 28th February 2022 – 10.55am.
One man has died after a crash on the M6 this morning.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 7:13am to reports of a three vehicle RTC between junctions 4 and 3a.
Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car and a BASICS Emergency Doctor were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival crews found a car, a van and a lorry had been in collision. The driver of the car was the only person injured.
“The middle-aged man received advanced life support at the scene of the incident. He was then taken on blue lights to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire; the critical care paramedic from the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car travelled with the crew.
“Unfortunately, the man was confirmed dead shortly after arrival at A&E.”
Claire Brown – Monday 28th February 2022 – 1.00am.
Every day last year, a staggering 32 ambulance staff were abused or attacked nationally. Now, some of those who were attacked or abused are spearheading a national campaign to promote respect in a bid to work without fear.
Shockingly, 11,749 ambulance staff were abused either physically or verbally in England last year, an increase of 4,060 incidents compared to 2016. In the West Midlands alone, there has been a staggering 88% rise in physical and verbal abuse towards staff in the last five years. (1671 incidents in 2021 compared to 887 in 2016).
Abuse included staff being stabbed, punched, kicked, head-butting, spat at as well as verbal abuse including racial and homophobic outbursts. The attacks ranged from common assault to serious attacks involving weapons. Alcohol is the most prominent factor in assaults against ambulance staff, followed by drugs and people in mental health crisis. Attacks based around race and sexuality have also increased as exacerbating factors in these assaults.
The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives has today launched the national #WorkWithoutFear campaign, supported by NHS England, to highlight the profound impact of this abuse on the everyday lives of ambulance staff. It aims to encourage the minority of people who might commit these offences to have respect for the people who respond to help them, their friends and their families when they need it most.
The campaign is set to feature ambulance staff from all across the country who have been the victims of assaults, including four from West Midlands Ambulance Service. Birmingham Paramedic Sarah Haddada and Brierley Hill-based Call Assessor Bradley Bayton-Harvey are the first two staff featuring in the campaign. They share their experience of the racial verbal abuse and threatening comments they’ve endured whilst trying to help others. Later in the campaign, which will be running for several months, Willenhall Paramedics Deena Evans and Michael Hipgrave are set to feature. Their attacker was jailed last year for nine years after he stabbed them as they went to help him in Wolverhampton in 2020.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “My staff come to work to care for others in their time of need, yet all too often they are greeted by violence and abuse. Assaults on ambulance staff, whether it be physical or verbal, are not okay and I fully support this campaign. I hope that it opens people’s eyes to the impact that abuse has on staff as well as reinforcing the message that abusive behaviour of any form is totally unacceptable.
“My staff deserve to be treated with respect and shouldn’t face a fear of attack whilst helping others. I have nothing but admiration for the brave staff taking part in the campaign in order to raise awareness of the dangers they and other emergency service workers face on a daily basis.
“I urge the Judiciary to use the Assaults on Emergency Workers Offences Act 2018 legislation to give appropriate sentences to those found guilty of committing this abhorrent abuse towards ambulance staff.”
WMAS Joint Staffside Lead, Reena Farrington, added: “I welcome this national campaign which outlines a growing problem amongst ambulance workers. It is extremely disturbing that some staff report that receiving abuse is almost part and parcel of doing the job; in no other section of our society would this be deemed acceptable, yet that is what some people think is ok for ambulance staff.
“My colleagues work so hard to try and provide care and compassion at some of the most difficult times in our patients’ lives; they invest their skills and life in doing the right thing yet this is the thanks they get from some patients or their family and friends. It has to stop and stop now. I can only hope that the campaign will shine a bright light on this appalling behaviour and that everyone will work with us to stamp it out.”
The public can pledge their support for this campaign by using #WorkWithoutFear on social media and by visiting www.aace.org.uk/vaa to view films about some of those affected.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
Birmingham Paramedic Sarah Haddada and Brierley Hill Call Assessor Bradley Bayton-Harvey will be available for interviews between 8.00am – 12noon on Monday 28th February 2022 and will be at Trust Headquarters, Millennium Point, Brierley Hill, DY5 1LX if you wish to undertake interviews in person. Please contact the Press Office to arrange a slot. If you are attending our HQ, we ask that you wear a face covering once on Trust property at all times.
Visit www.aace.org.uk/vaa where you will find a host of supporting collateral including a video of Bradley Bayton-Harvey, images of both Sarah Haddada and Bradley together with graphics detailing statistics about abuse.
On-the-road staff suffer the most with verbal and physical assaults, affecting more than 6,000 individuals across England in 2020-21 (an increase of 171% over five years). Staff working in emergency operations centres/control rooms experienced just under 800 verbal abuse cases in 2020-21 across England (an increase of almost 60% over five years). In WMAS there were 36 reported cases of verbal abuse towards control room staff between April 2021 – January 2022. Whilst the level of abuse received hasn’t historically been routinely reported by call assessors at WMAS, anecdotally, they will receive at least one abusive call per shift.
Body Worn Cameras/Stab Vests Trial:
Following successful trials in London and the North East, Funding of almost a million pounds from NHS England has provided cameras to crews in the 10 ambulance trusts across the country. WMAS introduced cameras in October 2021 for each frontline ambulance crew member to wear one. The Trust is currently now trialling stab vests at one hub.
Call Assessor Abuse:
In September 2021, WMAS call assessors shared shocking examples of verbal abuse:
I’ve been sworn at a lot and been told that it’s my fault if a patient dies
Some people just call and shout abuse at you and swear at you
I’ve been called a b**** and told that if I don’t help, I’ll be a murderer
I’ve had a sexually motivated caller who has made quite explicit remarks
The caller started giving be abuse on the call and said he’d make my Dad watch him sexually assault me.
The caller started being verbally abusive because we hadn’t arrived within 10 minutes of their original call.
Callers have sworn at me, threatened to physically assault me and my family
The caller said that if his family member died it would be my fault and called me horrific names
Jamie Arrowsmith– Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – 8.40am.
A man has been treated for serious injuries and taken to hospital following a collision between two lorries on the M6 this morning.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the incident between junctions 12 and 13 on the northbound carriageway at 5.24am and sent one ambulance, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews arrived to find one patient, a man, who was trapped inside his lorry.
“Ambulance staff worked closely with colleagues from the fire service to free the man and treated him for serious injuries before he was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further treatment. The doctor travelled with the patient to help continue treatment enroute to hospital.
Jordan Eggington – Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – 8am.
“As an organisation that looks to promote digital integration and enhanced capabilities, we look forward to utilising our new devices alongside our multi-agency partners, particularly with significant events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games in the region this summer.”
Real-time aerial footage will be transmitted directly to ambulance crews in the West Midlands as part of a multi-agency response to major incidents. It’s as West Midlands Ambulance Service, along with West Midlands Fire Service, have invested in Enterprise Control Systems’ (ECS) downlink receivers, which will allow staff to see live video footage from National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopters and airplanes.
The Airborne Data Link (ADL) will provide Commanders with enhanced situational awareness, aiding critical decision making in the event of large-scale operations. The Trust’s Emergency Preparedness team reviewed the recommendations that were citied in phase one of the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry, which led to this project being implemented into daily practice.
The Trust has invested in two receivers, which will be kept in Incident Command Vehicles, providing Commanders with a bird’s eye view of incidents, and allowing them to assess situations and direct resources accordingly. If required, the output from the NPAS aerial footage can also be streamed back to Strategic Commanders back in our control rooms by connecting the receiver with a laptop.
Tactical Incident Commander, Cameron McVittie, said: “Learning from incidents is at the forefront of our command development as an organisation, and the addition of the airborne data link into our command toolbox will be a fantastic asset to ensure that as a multi-agency command team, we can make the best decisions to keep our patients and staff safe at incidents such as water rescue, significant fires or marauding terrorist attacks. Not to mention, to create further synergy between ourselves and our JESIP partners on the scene of incidents.”
Cameron added: “As an organisation that looks to promote digital integration and enhanced capabilities, we look forward to utilising our new devices alongside our multi-agency partners. Particularly with significant events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games in the region this summer.”
Group Commander Richard Moore, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We’re really excited to be linking up with our ambulance and police colleagues for this downlink project. It’s the latest innovation in our drive to keep our communities safe with a digital and data-driven approach. We’ve been trialling our own drones for a year, so appreciate how an aerial dimension can complement our work on the ground. The NPAS partnership will help our decision making as we bring incidents to a safe resolution.”
NPAS tactical flight training officer and mission systems expert, PC Neil Cuffe, said: “All our aircraft have the capability to transmit high-quality footage to officers on the ground and incident control rooms via the downlink system. This is invaluable in assisting commanders to make critical decisions on how to appropriately direct resources and manage the scene of an incident. It is widely used by police forces and will be hugely beneficial for fire and ambulance colleagues as we work together to protect the public.”
Colin Waite, UK Police Business Development Manager at Enterprise Control Systems: “The ability to receive live high-quality video and data has always been key for the security and emergency organisations we work with. Now with more collaborative and joint operations, not only is it essential to have interoperable voice communications, but the ability to share situational awareness information which will be key in being able to resolve incidents efficiently and safely.”
Claire Brown – Monday 21st February 2022 – 9.10am.
A road traffic collision involving a car and a tree has left four people injured in Leamington Spa last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Harbury Lane in Bishops Tachbrook at 10.07pm last night (Sunday). Three ambulances, a paramedic officer and a critical care paramedic from the Air Ambulance Service attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Ambulance crews arrived to find an overturned car which was in a ditch at the side of the road after colliding with a tree. One occupant of the car, a teenage boy, was extricated with help from the fire service whilst ambulance staff assessed him for injuries. The teenager received treatment for potentially serious injuries before being transported by ambulance on blue lights to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further trauma care.
“Three other occupants had managed to self-extricate from the care and received assessment by crews. A woman suffered suspected serious injuries and was stabilised before being alerted to the same hospital for onward care. A third patient was found with non-life-threatening injuries whilst the fourth patient was described as ‘walking wounded’ with minor injuries. Both were taken to the same hospital for further checks.”
Jamie Arrowsmith – Wednesday 16th February 2022 – 8.30am.
A woman has died following a house fire last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to a property on Meadow Court in Droitwich at 9.03pm and sent two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival crews discovered one patient, a woman, who had been rescued from the property by the fire service and was already receiving medical assistance.
“She was found to be in a critical condition and ambulance staff began administering advanced life support.
“However, despite everyone’s best efforts it sadly became apparent nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Claire Brown – Tuesday 15th February 2022 – 9.10am.
A woman and a child have sadly died in a road traffic collision in north Shropshire this morning.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a collision involving a car and a HGV on the A41 near Lavender Cottage in Sutton Heath between Tern Hill and Newport at 0.42am today (Tuesday). Three ambulances, three paramedic officers, a local community first responder, HART paramedics, a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic and two BASICS emergency doctors responded to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “The two occupants of the car, a woman and a young child, were in a critical condition. Crews worked quickly as a team to provide advanced trauma care with assistance from police and fire colleagues.
“Tragically, despite the best efforts of everyone, nothing could be done to save the woman and child and they were both confirmed deceased on scene.
“The driver of the HGV, a man, was assessed by ambulance staff but didn’t require hospital treatment and was discharged on scene.”
One woman has died and a child has been taken to hospital in a critical condition after a two car crash on Saturday night in the Telford area.
The incident happened on the A518 New Trench Road at Lilleshall at around 6.20pm.
Five ambulances, five paramedic officers, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car, the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care practitioner were dispatched along with the crew from the Midlands Air Ambulance at Cosford who responded in a car.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a very serious collision between two vehicles with one having left the road. Two bystanders, one an off duty paramedic, were providing basic life support to a toddler in one of the cars.
Two adults, a man and a woman, were also trapped in this car.
Sadly, the only occupant of the other car, a woman had suffered very serious injuries and despite best efforts, could not be saved and was confirmed dead at the scene.
The youngster was quickly extricated from the car and was taken on blue lights to Princess Royal Hospital where her condition was stabilised. She was then transferred on blue lights, with the MERIT team travelling, to the paediatric major trauma centre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she arrived in a critical condition.
The man and woman from the car both suffered multiple injuries. After being freed, they were taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital – their conditions were not believed to be life threatening.
South Staffordshire Community First Responders (SSFR) are all kitted out and ready to respond thanks to generous donations which has seen them provided with a new vehicle and storage equipment.
Financial donations from DPD and the National Lottery allowed the scheme to purchase a Mercedes X-class pick-up truck in which to respond to 999 calls on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service in Codsall, Perton, Pattingham, Wombourne, Kinver and all of the surrounding villages.
When they arrive at the scene of a 999 call, the will not have to waste time finding the equipment they need, thanks to Truckman, who have supplied SSFR with their ‘Decked’ storage solution.
CFRs are groups of volunteers who are trained to a national recognised level by West Midlands Ambulance Service and respond to 999 calls in their local communities. They can be vital in reaching patients who are suffering from medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests, as quickly as possible, particularly in rural communities.
As a result they need a reliable vehicle and to be able to access their equipment in a timely fashion, as in life-threatening situations, every second can prove vital.
Matt Jevons, Founding Trustee of SSFR, said: “We are 100% reliant on donations and grants to keep our vehicles on the road, this includes purchasing and maintaining both of our response vehicles and buying uniform. The very generous support from Truckman has enabled us to fully utilise our new responder vehicle, which we were able to acuire thanks to DPD and the National Lottery.”
Mike Wheeler, Executive Chairman of Dudley-based Truckman, said: “The service provided by CFRs and the dedication of the volunteers is truly admirable. Their rapid response and actions can be the difference between life and death. We are very proud to support their work and hope the provision of ‘Decked’ can give their response times the marginal gains that can be so important in emergency situations.”
Notes to Editors:
Pictured: Jean Morgan (SSFR Group Co-Ordinator) and Mark Stidston (Truckman Sales Manager)
One man had sadly died following a road traffic collision in Sheldon last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 7.03pm to reports of a road traffic collision involving a car and a pedestrian on Coventry Road, Sheldon in Birmingham. Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a Critical Care Car from The Air Ambulance Service attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Upon arrival we found a man who was the pedestrian in a critical condition.
Ambulance staff on scene immediately began administering advanced life support.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of staff on scene, it became apparent that nothing more could be done to save him and he was confirmed deceased at the scene.
The driver of the car did not require assessment.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating over 800 apprentices currently employed at the Trust this National Apprenticeship Week.
National Apprenticeship Week is marked across the 7-13th February and aims to aims to shine a light on the amazing work being done by employers and apprentices across the country.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is one of the first Ambulance Trusts approved as an Apprenticeship Main Training Provider with the Education and Skills Funding Agency for Higher Level Apprenticeships and remains the most productive organisation in the West Midlands region, and within the ambulance sector, for developing our staff through the delivery of the apprenticeship standards, with the largest provision of student paramedic registered apprentices.
The Trust first introduced apprenticeship programmes in 2010, when it introduced the very first apprenticeship which still runs at the Trust today, the Motor Vehicle Apprenticeship. To date, the Trust currently have several apprenticeships to offer, ranging from level 2 to level 7 apprenticeships.
In October 2012, the Trust introduced its Non-Emergency Patient Transport Scheme, over the nine years we have recruited 278 apprentices onto the scheme. Fifty are currently on programme, many have progressed onto Permanent positions with the Trust. Twenty-four are them are now Paramedics with us, seventeen are technicians, fifteen are progressing within the Student Paramedic pathway, four are involved in the training of our staff and forty are employed within our Patient Transport Scheme and other departments.
People Director, Carla Beechey said: “Apprenticeships are central to assist the Trust to build our future workforce. I would like to thank everyone involved in supporting our apprenticeship schemes and assisting with the development of our staff.”
The Trust has marked National Apprenticeship Week on @OfficialWMAS social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by sharing the stories of past and present apprentices and celebrating their hard work and progression with the Trust.
A man has died following a single vehicle road traffic collision overnight.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a car on its roof in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern at 1.15am this morning and sent one ambulance, a paramedic officer, a MERIT trauma doctor and a BASICS doctor to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, we discovered a car that had come to rest on its roof after colliding with street furniture.
“There was one patient from the car, a man, who had suffered critical injuries in the incident.
“Ambulance staff administered advanced life support but sadly, it became apparent nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 7th February 2022 – 5:30pm.
Children of NHS staff across the Black Country and West Birmingham have made a plea to patients and relatives to treat healthcare professionals with respect.
The initiative sees photographs of the youngsters, asking anyone who uses NHS services to keep their relatives safe.
The children are dressed up in the uniforms of the professions of their parents or grandparents, including a nurse, paramedic, allied health professional, doctor, porter and receptionist.
It is hoped that seeing the children will bring home the message that there is a story and family behind the uniform of every single member of staff.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “It is simply not acceptable that staff, who are already doing an incredibly difficult job, should be subjected to this sort of abuse.
“Our ambulance crews and call centre staff should be able to do their job, helping people in their hour of need, without the constant fear of violence or aggression.
“Like all NHS staff, our crews and call handlers dedicate their lives to caring for patients and doing everything they can to help people, so it is both appalling and deeply distressing that they should end up being attacked or verbally abused by so many people.
“It is so important that everyone remembers that these staff are real people, with real lives, just the same as you and me – there is a life behind their uniform and they deserve our respect.”
Deborah Darley, 57, has been a paramedic for the West Midlands Ambulance Service for almost 19 years. Five years ago, she was assaulted by a patient whilst on a call out which resulted in her having a cast on her arm for more than six weeks.
She’s now passionate about raising awareness of the importance of protecting staff against abuse in the workplace, and her grandchildren, Meg (12) and Mollie (6), are pictured in one of the campaign posters.
Deborah said: “I become a paramedic just before I turned 38, so came into the profession a bit later than most people. I left school many years ago and so starting a new career at that age was a really big thing for me to do and I was really proud of myself.
“I absolutely love being a paramedic and feel so passionately about helping others. I’m not the type of person who gives up easily and I like a challenge, but I have been subject to abuse on the job and it does take its toll.
“Over the years I’ve been verbally assaulted, punched, pushed, bitten and spat at. However, in 2016 I was on a call out with a colleague and was seriously assaulted by the patient we were trying to help. This resulted in having my wrist in a cast for over six weeks ‒ I had soft tissue damage and it took months to fully recover.
“Being able to use your hands is a vital part of the job and the injury could have been career-ending for me. I worked extremely hard to get where I am and to face having to give up a career I loved was daunting.
“After the assault, the severity of the situation hit me like a tonne of bricks. My parents, my daughters and my grandchildren were all so worried about me going back to work and it created a ripple through the family. You hear about these types of things in the news but I never thought it would happen to me.
“To my grandchildren, I’m just their nan. They don’t understand why somebody would want to hurt me, especially when I’m just doing my job. My granddaughter Meg actually wrote about the incident for a piece of homework at school and won a literacy award.
“Once I got over the initial shock of the attack, I was pretty angry. I thought, I’m not there to be treated like that, I’m just trying to help people.
“Despite what happened I still love my job and if anything, it made me more determined to carry on. My thought process was, who is this person to stop me from doing my job that I’ve worked so hard to get.
“As a paramedic, you never know what you’re going to get when you go on a call out. In the current climate, I know people have a lot going on and tolerance levels are a lot lower, which is something I always take on board. But ultimately, we’re just there to help people and do our job.
“I always say to people, remove the uniform and boots, and I’m just human like you, with parents, children and grandchildren. I’m there to do my best and if you hurt me, I can’t help you.
“That being said, I’ve met some fantastic people over the years and it’s been an absolute privilege to help them. If someone has called for an ambulance and needs emergency assistance, the situation isn’t going to be nice, but I honestly feel so lucky to be in a position to support people in their time of need. For me, that’s priceless and you wouldn’t get that in another job.
“I feel so passionate about the safety of NHS staff and felt this campaign was a positive way to highlight this. The sad reality is that many of my colleagues have been assaulted whilst at work and it’s just not acceptable. If it can happen to me as a grandmother, it can happen to anyone, and it has to stop.”
Jordan Eggington – Monday 7th February 2022 – 10:15am.
A motorcyclist received advanced trauma care from crews after a serious RTC in Worcestershire last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 7:11pm to reports of a collision involving a car and motorbike at the junction of Roman Way and George Baylis Road in Droitwich Spa. Three ambulances, a paramedic officer, community first responder and the Midlands Air Ambulance critical care team attended, which included critical care paramedics and a BASICS trauma doctor.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived at the scene to find a man, the motorcyclist, in a critical condition with bystander CPR already in progress.
“Staff worked quickly to administer advanced trauma care to the patient both at the scene and enroute to hospital. The critical care team travelled onboard the ambulance to continue with treatment on blue lights and sirens to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. However sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, nothing could be done to save the man and he was later pronounced dead at hospital.
“The driver of the car, a man, was treated for injuries not believed to be serious and was conveyed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further treatment.”