Claire Brown – Tuesday 5th March 2022 – 5.00pm.
Last week saw the Governor of a U.K. Overseas Territory visit WMAS to learn more about paramedic training and responding to trauma patients.
The Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, His Excellency Nigel Dakin CMG, visited WMAS during a trip to the UK on Friday 1st April and was welcomed to Trust Headquarters in Brierley Hill by Chief Executive Officer Anthony Marsh and Chairman Professor Ian Cumming.
With an ambulance provision in TCI covering a population of around 44,000 spread over nine islands and major trauma cases becoming more prevalent, it was an opportunity to find out what operations and ways of working could be taken back to the Caribbean to further enhance patient care.
After introductions His Excellency went outside for a tour of our electric front-line vehicles showing the advances in technology and medical kit that ambulance staff use to respond to patients. HART paramedics were on hand to explain the vast equipment and technology they utilise, their capabilities and the types of incidents that HART attend. There was also time for a brief chat with the on-duty MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic before their next 999 call.
The tour continued inside at the National Training Academy where His Excellency was given a demonstration of bleed control kits, created by the Daniel Baird Foundation after founder Lynn Baird’s son was stabbed to death in Birmingham in 2017, which the Trust has been working in partnership with for a number of years. It was then time for a whistle-stop walk through of the Trust’s extensive training provision from classroom-based learning and hands on scenario training to blue light driver training.
The final leg of the visit was spent within our integrated emergency and urgent care control rooms to demonstrate the huge amount of work, technology and staffing that goes into answering 999 and 111 calls for the region.
Speaking about his time at WMAS, His Excellency Nigel Dakin said: “I’m originally from Birmingham and therefore seeing the inner workings of the service providing pre-hospital emergency care to my hometown was particularly poignant. I was immensely grateful to WMAS for the time that was invested in me during my visit. I have learnt a huge amount about the ambulance service and what’s so interesting is that so much of what I’ve seen is relevant to some of the challenges we face in the Turks and Caicos Islands. What I was particularly taken with was the excellence of the training here, the innovative use of bleed control kits in terms of democratising the ability to treat trauma patients. There are some immediate wins that I’ve walked away with from the visit but much more excitingly in a way, perhaps the start of a much longer term relationship with WMAS.”
WMAS Chairman Prof Ian Cumming is also the UK Ambassador for Healthcare to the Overseas Territories and in that role recently visited the Turks and Caicos islands to demonstrate the use of bleed control kits to senior representatives from the Ministry of Health, Emergency Medical Service, hospital, Police, Fire, GPs, and the Turks and Caicos Islands regiment. Prof Cumming said: “I’m confident that the Governor’s visit to WMAS reaffirmed plans to expand pre-hospital care in the islands and provision of bleed kits will be a major step forward in helping to save lives.”
Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Marsh, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome His Excellency the Governor to WMAS to showcase the excellent work of our staff and volunteers. It was hugely interesting to hear the different challenges faced in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We’re very happy to provide support in any way to our friends in this UK Overseas Territory with any improvements in the ambulance provision they wish to make.”
Featured photo (left to right): Nathan Hudson Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, His Excellency Nigel Dakin, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Marsh.