Clinical & Quality
The following documents enable us to provide high quality pre hospital patient care and are relevant under clinical governance. Details of these documents can be found within our Policies, Procedures and Strategies Section.
• Quality Strategy
• Clinical Strategy
• Clinical Audit Strategy
• Clinical Policies
Service Delivery – Operations
Patient Transport Services (PTS)
The Trust supplies routine patient transport throughout our operational area through negotiated Service Level Agreements/Contracts. Categories of transport include outpatients, day patients, admission, transfers and discharges. Patients are also transported to treatment centres throughout the United Kingdom. We employ a flexible fleet of over 287 ambulances, ranging from single-crewed cars to vehicles able to accommodate two or more wheelchairs and stretcher patients. More information can be found on our Patient Transport Services page.
We have in the excess of 600 front-line operational vehicles with an average age of under 5 years. The fleet is supported by a dedicated, professional team of engineers and administrative and managerial staff across twelve sites. Fleet Services support the operation ensuring sufficient vehicles are available to meet peak demands. Located within the fleet preparation centres, Fleet Services workshops are state of the art and staffed by an expert engineering team providing the Trust with vehicles that are operating to the highest standards.
The Make Ready team provide a 24 hour, 365 day logistic support function to the ambulance operations, duties provided are as follows:
Infection Control– The cleaning of all operational ambulances, both the inner and outer– Control of clinical waste disposal– Deep cleaning of operational vehicles after they have been used to transport of patients who may have had a health care associated infection – MRSA, CDIFF
Medical Equipment Diagnostics and first line repair– Diagnostic and functionality checks on all the ambulances medical equipment– Day to day audit of medical equipment usage and condition– Reporting of damaged or faulty equipment and arranging repairs
Control of medical consumables, drugs and medical gases– The loading to a standard load list all medical consumables, drugs and medical gases onto operational vehicles– The ordering, security, storage and issue of medical consumables– Account and tracking of usage and losses to all medical products
Vehicle inspection and defect reporting– Shift checks to ensure that the vehicle is fit for purpose and safe to deploy operationally– Defect reporting– Movement of operation vehicles between stations and external agencies – garages, repairers etc.– Delivery and collection of operational equipment and consumables between stations.
Logistic Support to Major Incidents– Deployment to the scene of a major incident in support of clinicians– Logistic support to specialist operations and events.
Out of Hours
The Coventry and Warwickshire locality of the West Midlands Ambulance Service provides a pivotal role within the Emergency Care Network specifically in relation to the NHS Communications Single Point of Access that it operates from its Tollgate facilities. This takes the form of a call centre that handles predominantly out of hour’s telephone calls for health centres across the health economy. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and is the first point of contact for members of the public accessing primary care services, weekdays, weekends and bank holidays. Calls will continue to come into the call centre and be answered by a Communications Assistant who screens the call and asks the caller a small number of questions to establish basic patient demographic information to ascertain appropriate primary care or acute pathway. If the patient requires medical intervention this information will then be passed to the patient’s local Primary Care provider, such as a Walk in Centre or Minor Injury Unit or acute trust where a clinician will undertake a triaging process. Having assessed the problem nature and urgency, the appropriate care pathway will be implemented which best addresses the patients needs. This may take the form of clinical advice, a visit to the Primary Care Centre, a healthcare professional visiting the patient at home or transportation to the PCC or hospital.
The Trust has an emergency preparedness function which takes responsibility for readiness and response arrangements which allow us as a trust to respond to a range of incidents in the most appropriate way and in collaboration with our partner agencies. The department is made up of 9 professional emergency planning practitioners who undertake preparedness and response work on a daily basis. We also have a fleet of major incident response vehicles alongside trained front line staff which give us an operational response capability.
Partnership working is a key element to emergency preparedness within the trust to ensure our response arrangements are consistent and coherent with those of other responding agencies and in this respect we regularly practice our response with partners to refine our procedures and raise awareness of what the ambulance service can offer.
The Emergency Preparedness teams are responsible for training staff in major incident awareness and response and have a key role in leading the planning for large scale public events on behalf of the Trust.
Purchasing And Supply
The Supply department operates from one main area within the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, distributing the Trusts supplies and equipment. The Trust utilise a number of suppliers and hold a range of stocks to facilitate stock replenishment to both the accident and emergency fleet within the emergency preparedness department, community responders, patient transport fleet and all its staff. In addition our fleet department orders from a number of suppliers for consumable items such as brake pads and window screen wipers, which are held at each of the fleet departments across the Trust in areas like Stoke, Worcester, Dudley and Birmingham.
The movement of stock around the Trust is carried out by our own internal transport system that works on a top up system to agreed stock levels for every location, this is managed by the Trusts Logistics manager supported by Stores, fleet and Ambulance Fleet Assistant (AFA) supervisors.
The variety of consumables supplied range from drugs/medicines to vehicle and station cleaning materials, each are purchased predominately by contract arrangements that the Trust lays down in its standing orders and these contracts are reviewed regularly by the Head of Purchasing and Contracts to ensure that the Trust is receiving the best value and the most appropriate product in order to deliver patient care at all levels.
The team of support staff that distributes these items have all received the appropriate training and development to ensure that the Trust core service are supported effectively.
All contracts are managed in accordance to NHS terms and conditions and in line with our Policies and Procedures. The Trust utilises collaborative procurement arrangements with sister ambulance services from around the country and that of other public bodies like the Police and Fire Service.
The Trust is constantly looking at its product range in order to deliver the best for the patients it serves in order to operate a world class service utilising effective communication and teamwork through a skilled workforce, products and services that we use have the patient at its heart, we do this by working in partnership with our suppliers, users and end users.
The Trust is constantly monitoring its QIPP program (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) to improve the quality of care while assisting in delivering the £20billion worth of efficiency savings to the NHS.
Finance, Planning And Performance Management
As a department, we provide Financial support and advice to the Trust on budgets and associated spending throughout the Trust, and also provide a payroll service to all of our staff here at West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Paying our Staff
The physical process of paying our staff is through our payroll services department. The payroll system uses the new Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system. The majority of staff are members of the NHS Pensions Scheme which is administered by the NHS Pensions Agency at Fleetwood.
Information Management And Technology
The IT Department delivers service across the range of trust functions:
- Telephone systems for 999 call taking, non-emergency 111 & PTS control rooms, administration functions
- Computer systems for control rooms, corporate services
- Communication systems for radio and data transmission
- 24 hour service desk function backed up by on-call service
- Web-based applications for control room, clinical and corporate functions.
- Systems management function for NHS111 AST step in providers (shared instance)
Services are delivered to control rooms (emergency, 111 and non-emergency), ambulance stations (Hubs) and community ambulance station response posts.
The work of the Department endeavours to meet both local Trust and the wider national objectives, the IM&T Strategy, which can be found within our Policies, Procedures and Strategies, ties the work areas to objectives.
Workforce And Organisational Development
Key Areas of Responsibility
Overall responsibility for Human Resources (HR) lies our Director of Workforce and Organisational Development who is responsible for the Workforce and Organisational Development Strategies, Occupational Health Service, Clinical and non-clinical Education, Workforce Professional and Personal Development, Training Schools, Employee Relations and Board Development.
The Trust has a comprehensive set of HR policies and procedures which are accessible to all staff on our internal website as well as through this website. The HR department provides advice, support and guidance to staff and managers on a range of employee relations topics such as sickness absence management, disciplinary, grievance, flexible working, and family friendly issues. The Trust has strong links with other local NHS Trusts and works closely with National Ambulance Service HR Networks and NHS Employers to ensure the needs of patients, public and staff are represented in policy decisions.
Communicating with Staff
Human Resources policies are developed in consultation with our staff through the Regional Partnership Forum, one of the formal mechanisms through which we communicate with our staff. We also communicate with staff through a series of formal and informal briefings at all levels, such as team meetings, Divisional and Area Partnership Forums and Divisional Performance Reviews. Staff are also involved in the internal working groups and sub-committees of the Trust and have representation on the Trust Board.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Further information about the Trust’s Equality and Diversity plans can be found within these pages.
Knowledge and Skills Framework
The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) defines and describes the knowledge and skills which NHS staff need to apply in their job roles. It provides a single and consistent framework on which to base a Personal Development Review for all staff. It lies at the heart of the career and pay progression strand of Agenda for Change. More details about the Knowledge and Skills Framework can be found on the NHS Employers website.
Recruitment and Selection
The Recruitment Team within the Workforce and Organisational Development Directorate are responsible for supporting the recruitment and selection process. Information on how to apply for our vacancies can be found within the Job Opportunities pages, or details of current employment opportunities are also available on the NHS Jobs website.
Training & Development
The Trust places a high priority on education and is committed to ensuring our workforce is provided with the appropriate opportunities that support personal and professional development. We achieve this by strategically developing the Educational Training Needs Analysis (ETNA), which is used to support the annual training plan, in accordance with our demographics and ever changing health communities.
A variety of learning methodologies are utilised overtly, introducing a blended learning approach and most importantly upholds the principles of adult education. Part of being an effective educator involves understanding how adults learn best (LIEB, 1991). Andragogy (adult learning) is a theory that holds a set of assumptions about how adults learn. Andragogy emphasises the value of the process of learning. It uses approaches to learning that are problem-based and collaborative rather than didactic, and also emphasises more equality between the teacher and the learner.
The department is also responsible for driving standards, driver education, community education and commercial training.
For queries relating to Community Education & Commercial Training email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01782 338672.
Communications and Media Releases
The Press and Communications Department plays a key role in promoting the working of the Trust. We provide advice and guidance to staff, the media and public on a wide variety of issues relating to communications internally and externally.
We provide a variety of internal methods for briefing staff about issues that affect them. The chief method is through a document known as the Weekly Briefing. This is published, as the name suggests, on a weekly basis. It is divided into a number of sections such as News, Operational, Development Opportunities for staff and a Noticeboard. It is also one of the key methods of issuing Clinical, Operational and Health & Safety Notices.
Other communication methods include face to face briefings, Special Bulletins for urgent news, and communication inputs into specific projects such as new items of equipment, major projects and consultations.
The Trust sends out over 100 press releases each month highlighting the work of staff at incidents as well as other items of news. One of the key areas that the Trust uses this for is to educate residents. For example, in the run-up to the festive period the Trust works with other NHS organisations to help members of the public to be prepared and advises on how to use the NHS wisely.
Other areas that we are heavily involved with include Local Resilience Forums where we play a leading role with the Warning and Informing / Communicating With the Public work streams which are part of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. We work closely with colleagues in Police, Fire and other partner agencies so that we work together to ensure the public are informed about issues that are pertinent to them.
For more information about this area, please contact:
Freedom of Information & Document Control Officer
Head of Governance
West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust
Waterfront Business Park
Telephone: 01384 215555