For many, the ambulance service is a ‘big yellow bus’ which arrives in your hour of need and takes you to hospital. That may have been the case 10 years or more ago, but the service that is provided across the West Midlands is now so much more.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said:
“We take far more calls than you might think; almost 3000 ‘999’ calls come in every single day. It’s a figure that has been increasing by on average 5% every single year. What’s more, despite being an ‘emergency service’, the majority of them are not life-threatening.
Because our call numbers have effectively doubled in recent years, particularly the non-life threatening ones, we have had to become far more than a traditional ‘scoop and run’ service taking all of our patients to hospital. We have developed into a service that increasingly takes healthcare to the patient rather than the patient to healthcare.
As an organisation we have undergone a massive change so that we can provide ever higher standards of clinical care with more complex treatments whilst continuing to keep up with the ever increasing demand.
To do so, we have had to undertake a fundamental review of the way that we operate so that we put the maximum amount of our budget into frontline care. This has involved providing additional training to existing staff while recruiting hundreds of new paramedics. In addition we have been re-organising our estate so that we can get our vehicles closer to the people that need them.
The publication of the Keogh Review into ‘Urgent and Emergency Care’ in the UK backed our views on the way that we can help the people of the West Midlands and provide an increasingly high quality service to patients in all sections of the NHS.
We are working more closely than ever with partners in the other emergency services, different sections of the NHS and community groups. These include GPs, mental health workers, trade associations and local community groups. Together we can ensure patients remain at the forefront of everything that we do.
We think we have a bright future going forward and this film tells you a little bit more about how we have been Transforming West Midlands Ambulance Service.”