Murray MacGregor – Monday 29th June 2020 – 12.01am.
A second year medical student who trained to become a 111 Call Assessor in the West Midlands after the coronavirus pandemic struck is one of just 12 NHS staff from across the country to be featured in photographs taken by celebrity photographer, Rankin.
Jack Hannay Manikum was studying at University of Birmingham when the outbreak of Covid-19 meant his course was put on hold. Wanting to maintain his learning and do something for the NHS, he was one of 1,100 people who applied for a role as a call Assessor when West Midlands Ambulance Service appealed for more staff.
Jack was among 350 additional call assessors taken on by WMAS to ensure the service continues answer calls quickly and provide a high quality service to patients who have an urgent healthcare need or need advice.
The powerful and personal portrait of Jack was taken by Rankin in a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS. The photographer, who has previously shot the Queen, Kate Moss and the Rolling Stones, offered to take portraits of 12 people across the country who are playing a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19.
The collection, which will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London have been released to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the NHS (5th July).
Rankin said: “As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease. Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story, which to them, was just doing their job. I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.”
Jack, who hopes to resume his studies is currently working full time for the 111 service covering all of the West Midlands except Staffordshire.
He said: “It can definitely be nerve-wracking as you never know what, or from who, your next call will be. One of the most difficult calls I picked up was from a patient that had suffered a late stage miscarriage. She was extremely distressed, and I just felt like crying. But you have to be strong, so that you’re able to help. At the other end of the scale, shortly after that I answered a call from an elderly woman who wanted to know if it was okay to hang her washing out during the pandemic lockdown!
“I’m very aware that a lot of the time, I may be the first person speaking to someone who has just gone through something traumatic. A lot of our job is about asking clinical questions to get people the right type of help. Speed is of the essence, but it can definitely feel cold in the moment. Someone might be going through a severe breakdown, so you have to take your time and get on their level.
“With all of that intensity, running really helps clear my head and keeps me going. On my days off I have been doing sponsored charity runs with my medical society for NHS Charities Together. The other day we finished an eight-hour shift at the call centre and ran 26 kilometres back to the university campus! We’ve raised £23,800 so far and are now campaigning to include BAME representation in clinical teaching at Medical Schools across the country.
“It’s a massive reward when you know you’ve helped someone, especially when they thank you at the end of the call and say they’re going to pray for you. Even as doctors in training – all we want to do is help people to the best of our ability. I’m so honoured to be a part of this campaign – I just wish I hadn’t had to shave my own hair during lockdown!”
WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh, added: “I am delighted that one of our staff has been chosen to be featured in these outstanding portraits. Staff within the Trust have worked so hard over the last three months during one of the most difficult periods we have ever faced.
“Hearing their stories, like Jack’s, will give the public a unique and touching insight into the lives of the people who are battling this pandemic and saving lives.”
All portraits are being donated by Rankin to the NHS as an ongoing legacy for years to come. Advertising space to display the portraits has also been donated.
As well as Jack in his role as a 111 Call Assessor, the pictures feature: a paramedic, a pharmacist, hospital porter, district nurse, midwife, critical care nurse, GP, a cleaner, an ICU consultant, an adult psychiatrist and a chief information officer.
Murray MacGregor – Monday 22nd June 2020 – 4.55pm.
Dozens of apprentices working for West Midlands Ambulance Service are making an ‘outstanding’ contribution in the fight to provide exceptional patient care during the corona virus pandemic.
At any one time, up to 60 apprentices can be learning their trade with the Trust’s non-emergency patient transport service (PTS) working on contracts in Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham, the Black Country and Cheshire.
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Michelle Brotherton, who runs the Trust’s PTS service said: “Our apprentices have really risen to the challenge during the coronavirus outbreak. They form part of our PTS crews and have been dealing with both Covid and non-Covid patients during the pandemic, which has allowed us to provide the very highest standard of patient care.
“We see them as exactly the same as our full-time staff. Only today, six apprentices passed their course and we offered them permanent positions with the Trust. We have an excellent record of supporting our apprentices to achieve all they can.”
Gill Durkin, business development director of PTP Training, which trades as Performance Through People, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the outstanding response of our apprentices during this difficult time.
“Those working on the front line in the health service have been both extremely brave and busy at work, whilst also making the time to continue with their learning.”
Dylan Bamber is an apprentice on the WMAS Cheshire Patient Transport Service contract and is based in Warrington. Just 17, he said: “COVID-19 has made things more intense, but we’ve carried out exactly the same job as we did before.
“We have had to transfer patients who are suffering from COVID-19, and this involves wearing personal protective equipment at all times. I’ve not found it frightening, because you sign up to the job knowing you’re facing potentially fatal diseases. To be honest, I’ve worried more about the patients.”
Dylan hopes to qualify as a paramedic one day; it’s something that many apprentices have gone on to achieve in the past according to Michelle Brotherton: “An apprenticeship is a really good way of coming into the organisation. They get to experience a variety of roles whether discharges of patients from hospital or taking renal patients into their appointments; it provides a real grounding on how to talk and interact with patients.
“Dozens of our apprentices have then gone on to train further either as a paramedic or in another role within the Trust such as in our emergency operations centres taking 999 calls.
“We are always on the look out for new apprentices because we know that we get great staff who we are proud to help develop their skills which ultimately helps patients.”
Note to editors:
All apprenticeship roles with WMAS are advertised on the NHS Jobs website. You can find more also find out more information on the Trust’s website.
PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year. You can find more information on their wesbite.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 3.20pm.
A cyclist has suffered potentially life changing injuries.
The man was found on the Oldbury Ringway near to the Mecca Bingo at about 1.25pm on Monday.
Two ambulances and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were initially sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The critical care paramedic arrived within five minutes of the 999 call and immediately requested an air ambulance due to the serous nature of the case. The Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford was immediately sent.
“The middle-aged man had suffered serious injuries. He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken by land ambulance to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; the doctor and critical care paramedic from the aircraft travelled with the crew.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 15th June 2020 – 11.20am.
A woman was left trapped after the 4×4 she was in crashed and rolled over.
The incident happened at about 7.40pm on Sunday evening on Kingswinford Road in Dudley near Russells Hall Hospital.
An ambulance came across it shortly after it had happened and requested back up; a second ambulance, a paramedic officer and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a Range Rover on its side with debris over an extended area.
“The front seat passenger, a woman was initially trapped within the vehicle. Working with firefighters, she was extricated before being fully assessed by the doctor on the ambulance. She was treated at the scene before being taken to Russells Hall Hospital.
“The man driving the vehicle was assessed but was uninjured and was discharged at the scene.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 15th June 2020 – 10.45am.
Four people have been taken to hospital, one in a serious condition after a fire in a house.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the semi-detached house in Lilac Close in Redditch at around 2.35am on Sunday morning.
Four ambulances, three paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team along with the MERIT Trauma doctor and critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a house that was well ablaze. One of the Trust’s paramedic Education and Training Officers was already on scene providing care.
“In total, there were five people from the property of which four were hurt.
“Two adults, a man and a woman and a teenage boy were all treated and assessed at the scene before being taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
“A teenage girl had suffered very serious injuries. After assessment, she was rapidly taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the critical care paramedic travelling with the ambulance.
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 27th May 2020 – 2.50pm
With attendances at A&E Departments across the country down by roughly 50 per cent, there are concerns that people are not getting the help they should for serious conditions such as a heart attack, which shouldn’t be confused with a cardiac arrest.
A heart attack, sometimes known as a myocardial infarction or MI, is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.
A lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscle, which could be life threatening or at least life changing with a lasting impact.
That’s why it is so important that everyone knows what the symptoms are and knows to get help as quickly as possible if you are suffering from them.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Paramedic, Rob Moore, said: “If you or a family member develop symptoms such as chest pain, this could be a heart attack and you should call 999 immediately.
“The pain might feel heavy or tight and it might spread to your arms neck or jaw. It could make you feel breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 6.10pm.
Not one but two mountain bikers have ended up in hospital after crashing on the same trail in completely separate accidents.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called twice this morning (Thursday) to the Sherbrook Trail on Cannock Chase
In the first incident at around 9.40am, the caller said that the middle aged rider went over his handlebars after his bike came to a sudden stop leaving him briefly unconscious.
An ambulance and a paramedic officer in a 4×4 vehicle were sent to the scene. Fortunately, the 4×4 was able to get close to where the man was.
After treatment at the scene he was taken back to the ambulance before being conveyed to Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Literally, just two minutes after finishing the first case, the paramedic officer was assigned to the second case, where again, a middle aged man had fallen whilst on the Sherbrook Trail
Another ambulance and the Hazardous Area Response Team was also sent after the call at 11.10am.
This time, the caller said that the rider had come off while going down a slope but had landed heavily. Once again the paramedic officer was able to access the rider in his 4×4 and after assessment took him to the ambulance before the rider was taken to County Hospital, Stafford.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “These were clearly very unfortunate accidents. Given the great weather, and the easing of lockdown, it is fantastic that we are all able to enjoy areas such as Cannock Chase.
“However, over the Bank Holiday, we would urge everyone to remember the need to keep socially distanced at all times and only meet up in the way the guidance sets out.
“This virus is far from over; we have to remember that hundreds of people are still dying every day. Yes, enjoy the wonderful area we live in, but please, make sure you do everything possible to reduce the risk of spreading this cruel virus.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 5.30pm.
A woman who coughed on emergency workers who were taking her to hospital has been jailed for 27 weeks.
Nicola Tilstone, 37, of no fixed address, was charged with four counts of assaulting an emergency worker after coughing on three officers and a paramedic on 9th April.
Emergency services attended King Street in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, after receiving a report of a woman staggering and banging on vehicles. Ambulance staff were assisted by police officers to take Tilstone to hospital with potential Covid-19 symptoms due to a high temperature.
Whilst in the ambulance, the 37-year-old began to cough. She was advised not to cough in the direction of staff but continued to do so purposefully.
When arriving at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Covid ward, Tilstone coughed several times including at a paramedic who was attempting to treat her.
Tilstone pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed yesterday (20th May) at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “My staff are working night and day to help people during this dreadful pandemic. We have been overwhelmed by the support and gratefulness of so many patients and their loved ones, which is why this case is so shocking.
“We all know the dangers of this virus and the thought that someone would purposefully try and infect the very people there to help her is appalling.
“I am delighted that the Court has shown everyone that such actions will not be tolerated.”
Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Tweats said: “The vast majority of people across Staffordshire have been fantastic during the lockdown period, even now as the government begins to ease restrictions. Compliance with the regulations remains important, especially if we are to continue to locally drive down infection rates.
“Unfortunately, there are a small minority that choose not to protect others and there have been several incidents where emergency services have been deliberately spat and coughed at in an attempt to infect them, or at least making emergency workers think so. Not only is this dangerous from a health protection perspective it’s also down right disgusting behaviour.
“Emergency services are on the frontline and are working to save people’s lives; often working in extremely challenging situations. Rest assured we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 10.55am.
A motorcyclist has suffered multiple serious injuries after he was injured in a collision with a car.
It happened at the junction of Anson Road and Bentley Road North in the Willenhall area of Walsall at shortly after 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found the rider some distance from the collision. Both he bike and car had been damaged.
“The rider, a man in his 40’s had suffered multiple serious injuries. He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights by land ambulance to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; the doctor and critical care paramedic from the aircraft travelled with the ambulance crew.
“A woman in her 60’s who was the front seat passenger in the car was assessed at the scene but was discharged after treatment. The driver was unhurt.”
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) with the support of UK ambulance services – including West Midlands Ambulance Service – has released a video of ambulance staff discussing their experiences with their mental health.
The film – produced before the coronavirus pandemic and before social distancing – involves members of staff from ambulance services across the country: Izzy, Scott, Ricky and West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Amanda, speaking honestly and openly about their experiences.
Amanda was treated for PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder after struggling to cope with some particularly difficult cases. In the video she talks of her experiences working in our Service and the support she has received from managers and colleagues.
This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Now, more than ever, with the effects of the coronavirus on us all, a simple act of kindness – such as a conversation – could really help a person who is struggling with their mental health.
There are mental health resources for ambulance service employees, families and volunteers from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives here.
Check out the NHS Every Mind Matters resources here.
Murray MacGregor – Friday 4th October 2019 – 8.16am.
We hope we never have to deal with an incident where we are faced with dozens of seriously injured casualties, but in this day and age, it is vital that we make sure we are prepared to do just that.
On Wednesday, all three emergency services took part in a large scale exercise in Albrighton. As you can see from the pictures, there were badly damaged cars and almost 100 live casualties; all in all a frightening prospect for the first crews on scene.
The exercise was put together by one of our Tactical Incident Commanders, Greig Smith along with Emergency Planning Manager Keith Nevitt and HART Training Manager Ed Middleton. As well as colleagues from West Midlands Police, Shropshire Fire and Rescue and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, it also tested lots of West Midlands Ambulance Service staff.
It brought together 13 ambulance crews from across the Region, the training team from our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) including an aerial drone, a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic, over a dozen operational commanders and a range of other senior commanders; over 50 staff in total.
Greig said: “It was designed to be an extremely testing exercise with complex tasks and real challenges for the staff involved. It provided a great training opportunity to experience a large scale multi-agency exercise.
“We were very lucky to be able to have around 90 ‘casualties’ some of whom played the part of being very seriously injured.
“These exercises are designed to test our training and always provide learning, but what was absolutely clear was the extraordinary level of commitment from all of those involved, whichever service they were representing.
“This will undoubtedly help us develop our capabilities even further so that we are as prepared as we can be for the future, whatever that may hold.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 3rd October 2019 – 11.05am.
Three people have been taken to hospital, one in a serious condition, after a two car crash that also left a gas main ruptured.
The crash happened near the junction of Longford Road and Oakmoor Road in the Longford area of Coventry at about 10.30pm last night, Wednesday.
Two ambulances, three paramedic officers and The Air Ambulance Service Critical Care Car were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found two cars that had suffered significant damage – the two were about 150 yards apart.
“A man in his 20s was trapped in the front passenger seat of the first car. Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate him after he had received advanced clinical care from the doctor whilst trapped.
“He was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire with significant injuries. The doctor travelled with the ambulance crew.
“Ambulance crews did not see anyone else from this car.
“There were two people in the second car. A woman in her 40s had been helped from the vehicle by bystanders. She was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to the same hospital as a precaution along with the driver of the car, a man in his 50s who had suffered minor injuries.
“The gas leak led to police evacuating a small number of residents until the main was shut off by gas engineers.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 3rd October 2019 – 10.40am.
A man has died after a tree fell on him.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at 6.40am this morning (Thursday) to a pathway next to the Cemetery in Eccleshall Road, Tillington near Stafford.
A number of members of the public heard the incident and went to see what had happened and immediately dialled 999.
Three ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance found a man trapped by the branches of a large tree.
“Working together they managed to get the man out from under the tree and provided advanced clinical care. Sadly, despite best efforts, it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 26th September 2019 – 1.00pm.
A woman has been airlifted to a major trauma centre after a three car crash that left five people injured.
The collision happened at just before 8.00am this morning at the junction of Mill Lane and George’s Elm Lane, Broom, Bidford on Avon, in Warkwickshire.
Three ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance from RAF Cosford were all sent to the scene along with the crew of the Midlands Air Ambulance at Strensham who responded by car.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found one car that has suffered very significant damage to the driver’s side, with two other cars damaged.
“A woman in her 20s was trapped in the badly damaged car for around 50 minutes. Ambulance staff and the doctor on the air ambulance worked with firefighters to extricate the woman.
“She was assessed and treated for multiple, potentially serious, injuries at the scene before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.
“A young boy in the same car was assessed and discharged into the care of family who had come to the scene.
“There were two women in the second car. The driver, who was in her 40s was assessed and discharged with minor injuries. The front seat passenger was assisted out of the car by ambulance staff, but after assessment was also discharged.
“The man in his 50s who was in the third car had been able to self-extricate but after assessment was taken to Warwick Hospital as a precaution.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 26th September 2019 – 8.57am.
Three men have been taken to hospital, one in a potentially serious condition, after a two car crash in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).
The incident happened at just after 2.00am on Chester Road in the Boldmere area of Sutton Coldfield.
Three ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival crews found two badly damaged cars with debris strewn over about 150 yards.
“One of the cars had ended up in the front garden of a house. There were two occupants of this vehicle assessed by ambulance staff.
“A teenager was treated for multiple injuries which were potentially serious. He was taken on blue lights to Heartlands Hospital. A man in his 20s had also suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the same hospital at normal road speed.
“A man in his 40s from the other car had suffered non life threatening injuries and after assessment and treatment at the scene, was taken to Good Hope Hospital.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 9th September 2019 – 8.00am.
Despite breaking her jaw the last time she got on a bicycle, it hasn’t stopped a Worcestershire based paramedic getting back on her bike to raise money for a charity that saved her partners life.
Clinical Team Mentor Natalka Greenwood, who is one of the stars of the More 4 series ‘999 on the Frontline’ is hoping to raise £3,000 for Cure Leukaemia, the Birmingham based blood cancer charity by cycling between London and Paris over four days starting on Thursday 12th September.
Last year she supported this ride, in the cheering squad, but wanted to do it herself this year becuase it’s a cause that is particularly close to the 34-year-old’s heart.
Natalka qualified as a paramedic six years ago after studying at Coventry University. She worked from Warwick Hub before becoming a Clinical Team Mentor at Bromsgrove. She says the ride won’t be easy for a number of reasons:
Natalka says “The more money that I can raise the more chance there is that a cure can be found for Leukaemia, which would be fantastic:
You can support Natalka by going to her Just Giving Page here.
Fore more information about Cure Leaukaemia, the blood cancer charity, go to their website .
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 5th September 2019 – 1.10pm.
A woman has suffered critical injuries after an incident in Birmingham City Centre.
West Midlands Ambulance Service received multiple calls to the junction of Constitution Hill and Howard Street at about 9.45am this morning, Thursday, after reports that a pedestrian and a car had been in collision.
Two ambulances, two paramedic officers and the West Midlands Care Team emergency doctor were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found a woman pedestrian who had suffered very serious injuries. A car and two lampposts had been damaged.
“The woman was rapidly assessed by ambulance staff and the doctor from the Care Team. After initial treatment, she was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham – the doctor travelled with the crew. The woman arrived at the hospital to an awaiting trauma team just 33 minutes after the initial 999 call. She was said to be in a critical condition on arrival.
“The driver of the car was assessed and discharged at the scene.
“The driver of a second car who had witnessed the incident was also assessed but again, was discharged.
Murray MacGregor – Friday 30th August 2019 – 8.01am.
Four staff from Stoke Hub have climbed the highest peak in south Wales in memory of the brother of one of the paramedics who died suddenly from a heart attack at just 45 years.
The sponsored walk has raised over £3,500 for the British Heart Foundation and their campaign to raise awareness of heart health and the small things that everyone can do to help themselves and their research into heart disease.
The walk was organised by Paramedic Rachel Smith. It was her brother Gordon who so tragically died. She was joined by fellow paramedics Rob Palmer and Lucy Barrow along with Technician Nicola Smith. They completed the walk along with friends of Gordon who came from throughout the country to remember him.
Between them, the 20 people in the group, they cumulatively climbed 11,000 metres, walked over 100 miles while climbing Pen y Fan.
Gordon sister Rachel said: “Sadly, Gordon died suddenly earlier this year after suffering a heart attack. Gordon’s Walk took place because his friends wanted to do something to raise funds and remember a unique and special person who is very much missed by his family, friends and colleagues. It’s a great way to remember him and support each other.
“Gordon was in a high-risk category, but no one really knew, or expected him to have a fatal heart attack, so having that knowledge is the first step towards a healthy heart and less heartbreak.
“We want to raise awareness of heart health and the small things that everyone can do to help themselves. We chose to walk for our fundraiser because walking regularly is great exercise and can really make a difference.
“As a paramedic, we obviously see lots of patients who have heart issues so to lose your brother to heart disease at such a young age was a real shock.
“It therefore seemed like a natural thing to do to raise money for such a worth cause. There are lots of things that we can all do to help ourselves.”
You can still make a donation via the group’s JustGiving page which can be found can be found here. They hope that they will reach at least £4,500 once all of the moneys have been collected.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 22nd August 2019 – 12.01am.
The results are in and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has once again rated West Midlands Ambulance Service as ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible rating from health and social care regulator.
In their report, they say: “The Trust and its staff should be very proud of what they do.”
The CQC inspected the Service in April and June looking at our core services of urgent and emergency care and patient transport services along with the leadership of the organisation.
We have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ for our services being effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and Good for whether our services are safe.
The CQC’s Chief Inspector, Professor Ted Baker, said: “WMAS was the first ambulance service in England to receive an Outstanding rating and I am pleased to announce that it continues to provide an excellent service.
“There was a positive culture that supported and valued staff and a strong and embedded focus on continuous improvement to offer the best quality service for patients, and effective systems for identifying risks or plans to eliminate or reduce them.
“Overwhelmingly this is an Outstanding trust and the hard work of staff across the trust continues to be exemplary. WMAS are making a real difference to people, and the trust and its staff should be very proud of what they do.”
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh said: “This is fantastic news and is down to the hard work of staff and the volunteers who support us, for providing the best possible care to patients across the West Midlands.
“I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of you for helping us to maintain our position as the best ambulance service in the country. That’s not me saying it, but the organisation that looks at the safety and care of our patients.
“This rating reflects the hard work and professionalism of our staff and provides the recognition they rightly deserve.
“To have independent inspectors make such positive comments about the Trust is incredible; it is rare that any Trust has received such high praise from the CQC.
“I am particularly pleased that they have specifically highlighted the work of the Patient Transport Service (PTS), who were more challenged the last time the CQC came. Today’s report specifically comments on how responsive PTS staff are to the changing needs of patients and highlights the work of the ambulance liaison assistants who support patients waiting for transport to minimise distress.”
Non-Emergency Services Operations Delieverry Director, Michelle Brotherton, who runs the PTS service said: “I’m delighted with the progress that we have made over the last two and a half years.”
“We do accept that there is further work to be done and we will continue to strive to improve services and support staff even better than we already are.
“We have already identified an extensive programme of work that will allow us to continue our progress which will improve the care we provide to patients and help our staff to carry out their roles within the Trust.”
Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, added: “Helping others is at the heart of everything we do and I am hugely pleased that the CQC saw a positive, patient centred culture within the Trust with hard working staff proud to work here and making a real difference to patients’ lives.
“Compassion is a large part of our role and I am equally proud that the report highlighted staff were outstanding in the way they support people who are distressed or overwhelmed in stressful situations.
“Quality and safety are key priorities for us; they are essential for running an effective ambulance service and I’m pleased that this was highlighted by the CQC as was our strong and stable leadership team.
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 5.20pm.
The work West Midlands Ambulance Service undertakes supporting former members of the military and serving reservists has been recognised by making the shortlist of a prestigious award.
The submission, ‘Two Uniforms, One Job’ has made it through to the final of the 2019 Health Service Journal Awards in the Reservist Support Initiative category.
The panel recognised the ambition, visionary spirit and demonstrably positive impact that the ‘Two Uniforms, One Job’ initiative has had on patients and staff experiences within the health sector.
Over 3% of our workforce have previously served with the military, be that Navy, airforce or army and the Trust actively encourages staff to continue their military career as well as their work with the ambulance service.
HR Manager, Maria Watson, said: “Candidates from the military and reserve forces come with structure and purpose and a definite sense of belonging. Many of their skills are extremely transferrable which means many find it an easy transition.
“We believe that WMAS offers a long-term career option as they come back into civilian life. Equally, the skills they gain as a Reservists has great benefit for the patients they treat and for their work with the Trust in general.
“We firmly believe that supporting our Reservists has a positive effect on their jobs in the ambulance service and equally the skills and experience gained within the NHS benefits their military careers.
Recently former RAF Intelligence Officer, Chris Booker spoke about natural progression from military to the ambulance service: “One of the things I missed after coming out of the military was the camaraderie, but the ambulance service has given me that and I’d recommend any of my former colleagues to follow suit.
Speaking about the nomination, WMAS Director of Workforce and Military Champion at the Trust, Kim Nurse, added: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted as this recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 12 months implementing ‘Two Uniforms One Job’.
Chris added: “The skills you learn in the military are an excellent fit with the ambulance service:
HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan, said “We would like to congratulate WMAS on being nominated in the category of Reservist Support Initiative Award recognising their outstanding contribution ahead of this year’s 2019 HSJ awards. Each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”
The full list of nominees for the 2019 HSJ awards can be found at https://awards.hsj.co.uk/2019-shortlist – winners will be presented at the HSJ awards ceremony, at the Battersea Evolution Centre, London on Wednesday 6th November.
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 8.00am.
Plans that would see the integration of the 999 and 111 services in the West Midlands will lead to significant improvements for patient care.
An agreement has been reached that will see West Midlands Ambulance Service take over the running of NHS 111 service in the majority of the West Midlands in November.
The plan will see the 111 and 999 services integrated into a single service and will lead to further developments in integration with local services for the benefit of patients.
The first step of this change will be for the service, across the West Midlands (except Staffordshire), to be transferred from Care UK to WMAS in early November 2019.
Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer for Integrated Urgent & Emergency Care, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said: “This is truly a first for the country and will lead to real benefits for patients and staff.
“The new service in development will see fewer patients being sent ambulances and a reduction in the number of patients asked to attend A&E. The new model will support more patients being cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs.
“This will also include more patients being provided with care over the phone by a team including GPs; other healthcare staff including advanced nurse practitioners; community mental health teams; pharmacists, dental nurses, paramedics and midwives.
“We would also expect to see more calls diverted to GPs (in and out of hours), urgent treatment centres and rapid response services operated in the community.”
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We have an outstanding track record in running complex clinical call handling operations. This expertise will allow us to bring real improvements to the 111 service for both patients and our staff.
“We will initially deliver the current service over the winter period but will then look to properly integrate the two in 2020. Staff currently employed by Care UK will TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) to WMAS.
“We will also be looking to significantly increase the number of staff so that there is more resilience over the winter period.
“I firmly believe that this will be positive for both sets of staff for example, providing new opportunities to develop and progress their careers.
“People who need help in an urgent or emergency situation are often anxious and may be unsure how to access NHS services. By integrating 111 and 999, patients can be better directed to the most appropriate care for their needs.
“It won’t matter which number you use, it will be handled by a call handler who will be able to deal with either type. Call 999 only for life threatening conditions. Call 111 if it isn’t an immediate emergency or a life-threatening condition; whatever number you ring the ambulance service will manage your call.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 12th August 2019 – 5.15pm.
When your hair is around two feet long, you need to have a pretty good reason to cut the whole lot off.
But that is exactly what West Midlands Ambulance Service Call Assessor James Doyle will be doing; and yes, he does have a very good reason – he’s trying to raise £500 for Mind, the mental health charity.
He’ll also be donating his hair to the Little Princess Trust which provides real hair wigs to children and young adults who have lost their hair to cancer or other illnesses.
James said: “I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder, as well as depression. In 2015 I suffered from a very severe episode of depression but found a way of coping was by growing my hair and then donating it.
“Since that episode, my mental health has greatly improved and continues to get better. I have support from colleagues, the Trust, friends, and family for when I have difficult times, but many don’t.
“As a call handler I take a lot of mental health calls, which can be distressing, not only for the patient but for their friends, family and even myself. Sadly, sometimes the calls end in tragedy. I don’t believe it needs to be this way.
“I’ve learned not to hide my mental health, although it’s hard to open up and I encourage others to talk openly about theirs. Too many people are silent about their mental health and it’s the silence that kills.
“I hope this event will prove that no matter who you are you’re not alone and you shouldn’t be afraid to open up.”
James will be cutting his hair on Thursday 15th August at Couture Lounge, 6 Queen Street, Wellington, Telford, TF1 1SN.
Murray MacGregor – Monday 12th August 2019 – 9.40am.
Two people have been injured, one seriously after a two car crash on Sunday afternoon.
It happened at about 4.40pm outside the Severn Trent Water Plant, close to the junction of St Martins Road and the B4115, to the south of Coventry.
The first ambulance arrived five minutes after the 999 call and was backed up by a second ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance found two cars that had suffered significant front end damage.
“A woman in her 70s in one vehicle was in a serious condition. Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to rapidly extricate her from the wreckage. After treatment at the scene, she was taken by ambulance to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire with multiple injuries – the doctor from the Cosford aircraft travelled with the ambulance crew.
“The driver of the other vehicle had been able to get out of his vehicle. The man in his 30s was treated for less serious injuries before being taken to the same hospital by ambulance.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 25th July 2019 – 1.45pm.
Ambulance bosses have paid tribute to the actions of an off-duty Trainee Nurse Associate after she saved the life of a man involved in a car crash near her home.
Jade Myatt, who works at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital came across a car crash near her home in Telford.
The driver of the car had been taken ill at the wheel and had narrowly missed Jade’s house before crashing into a field.
Jade said: “I got out to make sure everyone was ok. Another motorist who had also stopped said he was concerned that the driver’s breathing had changed so I went to check on him. He was still in the car and his breathing was very poor. I suspected he was having a heart attack and that he needed immediate treatment.”
The man’s heart attack developed into a cardiac arrest and Jade worked with the other gentleman to start CPR until the ambulance arrived. She then supported the ambulance crew until the driver was taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford where the driver was stabilised before being transferred to University Hospitals of North Midlands in Stoke.
Jade added: “The paramedics knew I worked in AMU at RSH and they spoke to my manager. The gentleman in question is doing really well and is now back at home. They said if I wasn’t on the scene, the outcome could have been very different.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Senior Operations Manager for Shropshire, Rob Till, said: “In a cardiac arrest, every second counts. For every minute after the heart stops and no-one is doing CPR, the patient’s chances of survival drop by 10%.
“The fact that Jade was there and able to start CPR massively increased the chances of the man surviving; her actions undoubtedly gave him the best possible chance of making a good recovery.
“Jade’s actions show how being prepared to do CPR really can make you into a lifesaver. This is one of the reasons we would urge everyone to learn the skill as you just never know when they might be called upon to help someone, be it a friend, loved one, or as in this case, a complete stranger.
“Congratulations to Jade and we wish her every success in her nursing career.”
Jade is due to qualify as a Nursing Associate in January and plans to go on to study to become a registered nurse.
If you would like to know how to do CPR, there are many courses available, but here, WMAS Community Response Manager, Cliff Medlicott gives you a quick guide:
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 25th July 2019 – 3.10pm.
One person has been airlifted and two others have been hurt after an explosion and fire on a pleasure boat.
The incident happened at the marina at East Waterside in Upton on Severn, Worcestershire at around 12.20pm today (Thursday).
Two ambulances, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Stresham, the Hazardous Area Response Team and three paramedic officers were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We were called to reports of patients who had suffered burns after a fire and an explosion. On arrival ambulance staff found three patients who had come off one boat and who had been injured.
“The fire on the first boat had spread to two others.
“A woman in her 60s was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in a serious condition. A man in his 30s was taken by road to the same hospital with less serious injuries.
“A second woman in her 60s was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further treatment.
“The Hazardous Area Response Team are remaining at the site until the fire service have got the fires under control.”
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 23rd July 2019 – 9.45am.
Ambulance bosses are appealing for help from the public to identify a man who was at the scene when an ambulance was broken into and vital lifesaving equipment was stolen.
The incident happened in the early hours of Monday 15th July in Shrewsbury as the crew were treating a man inside a nearby property.
The crew became aware of the break in at just before 3.00am while they were treating a patient in Dogpole.
Due to the serious nature of the patient’s condition, the crew had to leave the scene and take the patient on blue lights to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. It was only once they had handed over to staff in A&E that they were able to assess what had been taken.
Shrewsbury Operations Manager, Jon Ostrowski, said: “They discovered that a number of items of equipment that we use to manage a patient’s airway – mainly endo-tracheal blades and laryngoscope handles – had been taken. They are utterly useless to anyone but us as they are only used in lifesaving interventions.
“While the crew carry this equipment in their pack that they take to a patient, had they used that one and then needed another, it could have caused a significant delay and that could have had deadly consequences.
“Add to that, the crew then had to take their vehicle off the road so that a full audit of equipment could be carried out. They had to return to Shrewsbury Hub to pick up a second vehicle and so were not available to respond to 999 calls.”
The CCTV on the vehicle has been checked and the attached image is of an individual that the police would like to speak to in connection with their enquiries. If you recognise him or have any information about the incident, please contact West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident 42S of 15th July 2019 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 17th July 2019 – 8.45am.
Two men have bene taken to hospital after the light aircraft they were in came down in a wheat field shortly after take off.
The incident happened near to Otherton Airfield near Penkridge in Staffordshire at around 3.45pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Two ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a doctor and critical care paramedic on board were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a small aeroplane that had crash landed in a field. Thankfully it had remained the right way up though had suffered considerable damage.
“One of the occupants was trapped and had to be assisted out by ambulance staff and firefighters.
“The two men, who were both in their 60s were taken by land ambulance to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton with injuries not thought to be life threatening.”
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 16th July 2019 – 10.25am.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has been nominated for a prestigious award that recognises the huge level of input that the Trust has in pre-hospital research.
The Awards celebrate the contribution AHPs (Allied Health Professions) have made in supporting improvements in health, care and wellbeing.
The Trust made it through from over 200 nominations to the final of the AHP Research Impact category for its part in the ground breaking PARAMEDIC 2 research project which looked at the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrest cases.
The project which was run by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit also involved North East, South Central, London and the Welsh ambulance services.
WMAS Research Paramedic, Josh Miller, said: “We were nominated by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, for the way in which we overcame the challenges of delivering research during cardiac arrests, which are our most serious 999 calls.
“Adrenaline is a medicine which has been used in cardiac arrest for many years, but which the PARAMEDIC2 study showed that although it helps restart the heart it can increase the risk of brain damage.
“The biggest thing that improves survival is the early recognition of a cardiac arrest by members of the public, people at the scene immediately starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and having access to and using a defibrillator as soon as possible.
“It also showed that ambulance staff can conduct high-quality research in the most challenging of circumstances.
“There is no doubt that the results will improve patient care; it shows that it is not the advanced treatments by ambulance staff that improves cardiac arrest survival; it is the actions of members of the public that makes the biggest difference.
“This is why it is so vital that everyone learns how to do CPR and we increase the number of public access defibs in our communities.”
There are many courses available on how to learn CPR, but here, Community Response Manager Cliff Medlicott shows you what is involveed:
More information on the PARAMEDIC 2 trial is here.
Murray MacGregor – Friday 12th July 2019 – 8.00am.
While thousands of fans will be cheering on Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, road safety campaigners are hoping that a six foot mannequin called ‘Colin’ will have an even bigger impact on the lives of thousands of motorcycle riders.
Colin will be at the home of grand prix racing this weekend along with staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service who will be in the Entertainment Zone working with Highways England as well as colleagues from police and fire, talking with the tens of thousand of ‘petrol heads’ about road safety.
Although motorcycle riders make up just 1% of road users, they account for 18% of deaths. In the last four years in the West Midlands alone, there have been more than 1,150 crashes that have resulted in either the death or injuries that are so serious that they have required specialist trauma treatment.
WMAS Operations Manager and former ‘emergency biker’, Mark Hayes, said: “We started working with the West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team last year looking at ways to educate riders on how to reduce the chances of them joining that grim tally.
“What we realised is that many of the injuries are much worse than they might have been because of the inappropriate nature of the clothing the riders were wearing.
“Too often in the summer we see riders dressed in only t-shirts, shorts and trainers. If they were to come off, even at slow speed they would suffer horrendous injuries caused by them sliding along the road surface.
‘Colin’ shows the difference between a rider who was wearing ‘leathers’ and what would happen if they weren’t. My colleague, Paramedic Adele Gregory used theatrical make up to make ‘Colin’ look incredibly life like, which often shocks riders when they see what could happen.
“What we want riders to do is: ‘dress for the slide, not the ride’. By wearing proper safety equipment, they can dramatically reduce the level of injury. There is no excuse for not wearing appropriate gear now – it doesn’t have to be expensive and you can even buy clothing that looks like jeans but is made of materials like Kevlar which provides excellent protection.
“Equally, we want to increase the take up of advanced education to make them better riders, thereby reducing the chances of them getting into a situation where they might come off their bike.
“I’ve been riding for many years, not just for pleasure but also responding to 999 incidents and know how just how much good protection is worth. The message we will be giving to the people we see at Silverstone is simple: what value do you put on your health and life?”
A cyclist has been airlifted to hospital in a serious condition after being found unconscious on a busy ‘A’ road in Warwickshire.
The man was found at about 1.45pm on Monday near his badly damaged bicycle on the A422, Arrow Lane at Arrow near Alcester.
Two ambulances, a community first responder, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and two paramedic officers were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The man, estimated to be in his 70s was assessed and treated at the scene for potentially life threatening injuries before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.”
A man has died after his body was recovered from the Chasewater Reservoir in Burntwood, Staffordshire on Sunday evening.
Initial calls at just before 6.00pm suggested two people in trouble in the water, near the Watersports Centre.
Three ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Staffordshire, both with doctors on board, were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “A number of boats and members of the public assisted in the search. Firefighters and members of the Hazardous Area Response Team were committed to the water.
“When the 21-year-old man was recovered, ambulance staff tried everything possible, but sadly it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
“Thankfully a young girl made it out of the water safely and was unhurt.”
Friday 27th June 2019 – 9.10am – Murray MacGregor.
A trial which sees advanced nurse practitioners working with paramedics in the control room at West Midlands Ambulance Service is bringing real benefits to patients and staff.
The programme that is being run by the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team from NHS Improvement, has seen advanced nurse practitioners from Royal Wolverhampton Trust working with the Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedics in the WMAS Strategic Capacity Cell..
Strategic Operations Cell Commander, Martyn Pugh, said: “We have already seen a significant number of additional patients diverted away from being taken to A&E by ambulance due to the work of the paramedics in the strategic capacity cell.
“These paramedics work with the crews on the ambulance to find alternative ways to provide additional treatment to patients rather than have them taken to A&E. This could be by referring them to other healthcare staff such as district nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and access to social care support.
“What this new programme brings is the chance for the paramedics at the scene to talk to the advanced nurse practitioners have specialisms in community health care. This ranges from help with long term conditions, infections, respiratory and cardiac conditions.
“What we are finding is that many of these patients already receive care from the community health services and the advanced nurse practitioners are able to do access those details which allows the most appropriate support to be given.
“At this stage we are only working in the Wolverhampton area, but we will also be running a similar trial involving services in Shropshire.”
Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedic, Kirsty Houston, said: “As someone who works mainly on the road, having rapid access to specialist care for long term conditions is very welcome.”
Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Debbie Callow, said: “We are able to talk to the ambulance staff on scene to see if there are ways of helping the patient without the need to take them to hospital.”
Emergency Clinical Co-ordination Paramedic, Scott Harris added: “There is no question that everyone benefits: many more patients are treated at home; it means ambulances are available more quickly to respond to the next call; it reduces the pressure on the hospital A&E Departments; and community health services can continue with their care plans for these patients.”
At this stage the pilot is being used as a proof of concept. Once the feedback from the project has been analysed, it is hoped that changes could be introduced more widely that would allow closer working between ambulance staff and community health care services.
Thursday 27th June 2019 – 8.55am – Murray MacGregor.
A man was able to get out of the wreckage of his car himself despite it being split in two after a collision with another car.
The incident happened at about 8.20pm on Wednesday evening on the A34, Stafford Road, near Pine Trees Farm at Huntington, just after the Pottal Pool roundabout.
Two ambulances were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived they found two cars that had suffered significant damage. One car had split in two with one half overturned with the other half in a field.
“Somehow the driver, a man in his 40s, had managed to get out of the wreckage himself. He was assessed at the scene before being taken to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital as a precaution, although initially his injuries did not appear to be too serious.
“Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate the driver of the other car, a woman in he 50s. She was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.
Monday 25th March 2019 – 12.30pm – Murray MacGregor.
A worker has had to be lowered using ropes from the sixth floor of a building site after injuring himself.
The incident happened on a building site on the corner of Broad Street and Bridge Street in Birmingham at around 8.35am this morning.
An ambulance, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a man having suffered a leg injury at the scene in an unfortunate accident.
“After receiving treatment at the scene, ambulance staff worked with the technical rescue Team from West Midlands Fire Service to lower the man from the sixth floor of the building. A HART team paramedic was lowered with him.
“After receiving further assessment and treatment, he was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further assessment and treatment.”
Thursday 6th June 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.
This week we are remembering the amazing people from right across the West Midlands who volunteer, day in, day out, to support West Midlands Ambulance Service and the public at large.
Literally hundreds of people support the Trust on a daily basis so it is only right and proper that we pay tribute to them during Volunteers Week.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Whether you are a community first responder (CFRs), a BASICS Emergency Doctor, someone who trains people in CPR, a volunteer car driver or someone who raises vital funding for one of our air ambulance charities, your work is immense and helps to save lives.
“I would like to single out our CFRs who show incredible dedication; they are teams of volunteers who are trained by WMAS to a nationally recognised level and provide lifesaving treatment to people in their local community. They are willing to drop everything to provide immediate medical care prior to the arrival of ambulance resources. Last year they responded almost 12,000 times and were available many hundreds of thousands of hours.
“I would also single out the many hundreds of individuals, communities and businesses that have raised money or invested in life saving defibrillators. In the UK, 135,000 people die each as a result of suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest. By increasing the number of defibs, many more lives can be saved.
“I also recognise the hugely important role our SALS (Staff Advice and Liaison Service) advisors play in supporting staff in a whole range of situations; I truly value the help and support you provide.
“The final group that I would like to single out are the Trusts Governors who help the organisation on an on-going basis. The Governors represent the local community, staff and key stakeholder’s interests who together help shape the service.
“Whichever form of volunteering you participate in, I am extremely grateful for all that you do to support us.”