Trust remains the only ‘Outstanding’ Ambulance Service

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.

“Congratulations to everyone.”

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“Two uniforms, one job” initiative shortlisted for prestigious award

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.

4×4 and bike in collision at junction

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 10.36am.

A motorcyclist has been taken to a major trauma centre after a crash with a 4×4 at a junction.

The incident happened at just after 8.00am on the A46 Alcester Road at a junction near the Stag at Redhill Pub between Alcester and Stratford upon Avon.

An ambulance was sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a collision between a 4×4 and a motorbike.  The rider was found about 20ft away from the collision site.

“The man was assessed and treated for potentially serious injuries before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

“The man driving the 4×4 was uninjured.”

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front ambulance lights 2018

Fatal flat fire

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th August 2019 – 8.25am.

One man has died after a fire in a flat in Coventry.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Jenner Street at just before 4.30am this morning.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found firefighters actively fighting a fire in a flat.

“Unfortunately, when a man was brought out of the property it was immediately obvious that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead.  He was the only casualty.

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Night - Ambulance in street (2)

(Library Picture)

WMAS to work with commissioners to take 111 service to next level

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.”

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NHS 111

 

Man confirmed dead by ambulance staff

A man has died after an incident in Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a slow speed RTC involving a van at the rear entrance to Shugborough Hall near Stafford at 7.19am this morning (Thursday).

Off duty emergency services staff came across the incident and started CPR on a the man.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford were sent to the scene.

Ambulance service staff were told that the driver appeared to have had a medical episode at the wheel.

Ambulance staff took over treatment providing advanced life support to the patient.

Sadly, it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

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It’s a hair raising (or shortening) proposition

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.

You can donate to this excellent cause here.

 

 

Serious RTC leaves two hurt

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.”

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Fatal crash in Staffordshire

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 8th August 2019 – 9.15am.

One man has died and a woman has been seriously injured after a three vehicle crash in Staffordshire.

The incident happened at just before 10.30pm on Wednesday evening on the A53 Newcastle Road near the junction of Sandy Lane in the village of Ashley between Market Drayton and Stoke.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and two doctors from the North Staffordshire BASICS scheme were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a serious collision between a van, a 4×4 and a car.

“The van was on fire and sadly, nothing could be done to save a man who was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A woman in her 40s from the 4×4 had been pulled from the vehicle by quick thinking bystanders fearing it might catch fire too.  She was assessed and treated at the scene for serious injuries.

“She was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital; one of the doctors travelled with the ambulance crew.

“No-one in the car was hurt.”

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Night - Ambulances on motorway

Why knowing how to do CPR can make you a lifesaver

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:

Man rescued from The Roaches after falling

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 30th July 2019 – 9.40am.

A man who fell up to 10 metres has been rescued by ambulance staff and a mountain rescue team.

A 999 emergency call was made at just ater 6.00pm last night to The Roaches at Hen Cloud in the Leek Moorlands.

A community first responder, a paramedic officer, an ambulance and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire were sent to the scene along with Buxton Mountain Rescue Team.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff were told that the man, who was in his 30s, had fallen about 10 metres and had been left unconscious for a few minutes.

“The man was treated for multiple non life threatening injuries at the scene.

“The Mountain Rescue Team then worked with ambulance staff to carry the man down to the ambulance from where he was taken by road to Royal Stoke University Hospital.”

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Roaches - 2 (30-6-19)Roaches - 3 (30-6-19)

Disorder in Stoke leaves four hurt

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 25th July 2019 – 5.10pm.

Four men have been injured after a disturbance in the Milton Street area of Stoke on Trent.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received ten 999 calls to incidents in the area at around 3.05pm on Thursday; they reported multiple casualties.

A total of five ambulances, the Midlands Air Ambulances from Staffordshire and Cosford, along with five paramedic officers were dispatched.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Ambulance crews worked closely with police officers at what was initially a scene spread over a number of streets.

“In total four patients were identified:

“A man in his 20s suffered critical injuries and was taken to hospital on blue lights; the aircrew from the Midlands Air Ambulances from Staffordshire travelled with the patient.

“A man in his late teens suffered serious injuries and was also taken to hospital along with another man in his late teens who had suffered less serious injuries.

“A fourth man self-presented at hospital.

“Excellent teamwork from police and ambulance services ensured that all of the patients got to hospital as quickly as possible.”

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ambulance line up 2018

Fire on boat in Marina

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.”

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Upton Marina Fire (25-7-19)

Can you identify a man who was at the scene of an ambulance break in?

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.

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Ambulance break-in

Cannisters explode in van

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 17th July 2019 – 1.35pm.

The driver of a panel van has had an astonishing escape after gas canisters in the back of his van went on fire and exploded.

The man was driving on the A44 near Marston between Kington and Leominster in Herefordshire at around 7.40am this morning (Wednesday) when the incident happened.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a small panel van carrying gas cylinders that had exploded.

“On arrival, ambulance staff found the van that had been completely burnt out.

“Thankfully the driver, a man in his 40s, had managed to get out of the vehicle before it was consumed by the fire.

“He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken by land ambulance to Hereford County Hospital.”

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High Barn Gas Explosion 2 (17-7-19)

Pictures courtesy of @HWFireKingsland

 

Aircraft come down in a field

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.”

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Penkridge Plane Crash 2 (17-07-18)

Trust nominated for prestigious research award

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.

Further details about the awards is at here.

 

 

Dress for the slide, not the ride

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?”

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Dress for the Slide - Colin Poster

Cyclist found seriously injured

Monday 1st July 2019 – 5.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

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.”

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Two motorcyclists die in separate incidents

Monday 1st July 2019 – 11.15am – Murray MacGregor.

Two motorcyclists have died after separate incidents within an hour of each other.  The incident happened on Sunday morning; one in Herefordshire, the other in Warwickshire.

The first incident happened on the A438 at Hollybush, near Ledbury at around 11.40 am after a motorcycle and a car were in collision.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found members of the public carrying out basic life support on the rider.

“They immediately took over and provided advanced life support, but sadly it wasn’t possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

The second incident happened on Redditch Road in Ullenhall near Henley in Arden at about 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a BASICS Emergency Doctor were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found members of the public, including an off-duty doctor assisting the rider.

“Ambulance staff took over and provided advanced life support, but again, sadly, it wasn’t possible to save the man and he too was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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Ambulances in the sun 2

Drowning at Chasewater Reservoir

Monday 1st July 2019 – 8.46am – Murray MacGregor.

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.”

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Chasewater Reservoir

A trial that has seen advanced nurse practitioners working in ambulance control is bringing real benefits to patients

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.

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Car split in two after crash

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.

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A34 Pine Trees Farm 27-06-19

Picture courtesy of

Fatal crash in Beckford

Tuesday 25th June 2019 – 10.30am – Murray MacGregor.

A serious collision between a car, a pedestrian and a stationary lorry carrying three caravans has sadly resulted in one man dying.

The incident happened at about 6.45am this morning (Tuesday) on the A46 in Beckford, outside Cotswold Edge Leisure Vehicles.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found a car that had significant nearside damage.  The lorry had rear offside damage.

“The pedestrian, a man, was found nearby.  Sadly, it was immediately obvious that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s were assessed and treated at the scene by ambulance staff before being taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch – their conditions are not believed serious.

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IMG_3517

Injured man lowered from 6th floor of building

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.”

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Thank you to our amazing volunteers

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.”

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Bleed kits could save lives

Wednesday 5th June 2019 – 1245pm – Murray MacGregor.

Yesterday, a new scheme that could save the lives of people who have been stabbed was launched in Birmingham City Centre.

Fifty ‘Bleed Control Kits’ will be sited at locations thanks to work by the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) which has been working with campaigner Lynne Baird, of The Daniel Baird Foundation and West Midlands Ambulance Service.  The BCSP received £4,000 from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to purchase the kits.

The Daniel Baird Foundation was set up by his family after he was fatally stabbed while out with friends in Birmingham in July 2017. Daniel died shortly after arriving at hospital due to catastrophic bleeding.

Patients suffering catastrophic bleeds from serious injuries such as those caused by a stabbing, shooting or car accident can prove fatal in as little as three to five minutes if the bleeding is not stemmed.

Trauma Lead for West Midlands Ambulance Service, Shane Roberts, said: “The idea behind the bleed control kits is to buy the first vital minutes before ambulance staff can reach the scene.

“The kits have a number of items that could make a difference.  Things like a Tourniquet:

“The second item they have is haemostatic gauze:

“The third item is a chest seal:

Shane added: “The reality is that having someone take action in situations when a patient has been stabbed, shot or even suffered a catastrophic bleed from a road traffic collision could make the difference.  Getting help in those first few minutes could save a life.”

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Trust to invest £40m in 300 new ambulances

Wednesday 5th June 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is set to maintain its position of being the only ambulance service with no operational vehicles over five years old with the announcement of an order for 300 new ambulances.

The Trust has awarded the contact to VCS vehicle converters of Bradford for delivery over the next three years.  The first vehicle is expected to arrive in August.

The new ambulances, which will continue to be based on the Fiat Ducato van, will be designed and manufactured using VCS’s unique ‘Core Capture’ construction method to ensure they are the lightest and most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Along with our staff, our emergency vehicles are our most important assets.  The five-year replacement policy means our staff are able to respond in a modern, high quality, ambulance fleet that is reliable and efficient and as comfortable as possible for patients and staff.

“The vehicles come with completely new equipment on board including the latest defibrillators and monitors.

“The innovation also means that we are saving money which can be reinvested into providing additional paramedics, which can only be a good thing.”

Mark Kerrigan, Technical Director at VCS, added: “Our research and development team has been developing innovative ways of saving weight which will bring a huge reduction in CO2 emissions and reduce fuel costs for WMAS.  This includes aerospace-type build materials that increase vehicle durability and reduce wear and tear on the vehicles.

“Using the new materials, we have been able to enhance the crash structures, which will improve safety while also allowing us to work with the Fleet Department and their operational staff to develop enhanced designs which will benefit operational staff and patients alike.”

Tony Page, General Manager for Fleet Services at WMAS, said ‘VCS secured this contract following a very detailed and competitive tendering process, during which they demonstrated a high degree of innovation, engineering capabilities and build quality.

“Their designs also complied with the requirements of the recently published NHS Improvement ‘Carter Report’.

“We are very pleased to be working with a UK based vehicle specialist, building state of the art ambulances that will allow our crews to deliver high quality patient care across the West Midlands.”

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New Ambulance - VCS 19 Plate (Small)(Library picture)

I hope no other family has to go through what we did

Tuesday 4th March 2019 – 6.00pm – Murray MacGregor.

A new scheme to equip Birmingham city centre businesses and late night venues with specialist first aid kits that could save the lives of victims of stabbings and gunshots has been launched.

Birmingham Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) has been working with campaigner Lynne Baird, of The Daniel Baird Foundation and West Midlands Ambulance Service, to develop and deliver ‘Bleed Control Kits’ at locations across the city centre.

The Daniel Baird Foundation was set up by his family after he was fatally stabbed while out with friends in Birmingham in July 2017. Daniel died shortly after arriving at hospital due to catastrophic bleeding.

Patients suffering catastrophic bleeds from serious injuries such as those caused by a stabbing, shooting or car accident can prove fatal in as little as three to five minutes if the bleeding is not stemmed.

The idea behind the bleed control kits is to buy the first vital minutes before ambulance staff can reach the scene.

Lynne Baird, Daniel’s mother, said: “Daniel died very quickly after he was stabbed due to the level of blood loss.  Unfortunately, there was no first aid kit available that could have helped him and that’s why we’ve helped develop these kits as they could make a difference.

“I just hope that these kits might mean that no other family has to go through what we have.”

The BCSP received £4,000 from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to purchase 50 kits which were developed by WMAS and the West Midlands Trauma Networks.  WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “In cases such as Daniel’s, every second counts and being able to stem the bleeding could make the difference between life and death.  I also hope that the work of the Daniel Baird Foundation will result in kits becoming as common as defibrillators are so that many more lives can be saved right across our country.”

Staff at the 50 venues will receive training on these kits, and people who call 999 will be directed to the nearest kit and talked through how to use it by the WMAS call handlers who take 999 calls about such cases.

WMAS Trauma Lead, Shane Roberts said: “I am in no doubt that having kit like this available int he City Centre will undoubtedly save someones life.  in some circumstances it is those first few minutes that will make the difference between life and death.”

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Sometimes old technology is still the best

Monday 3rd June 2019 – 5.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

While the ambulance service uses ever more sophisticated technology to help patients, sometimes, equipment that has been in use for 100 years is just what is required.

Earlier today, a woman who had fallen whilst out walking on a canal tow path was rescued using a wheeled stretcher known as a Bran Carrier.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called at lunchtime to the banks of the River Severn about half a mile south of the Severn Bank Caravan Park.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the woman had suffered quite nasty injuries.  The initial crew had walked to her but requested assistance.

A paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

“The woman received treatment at the scene before she was placed onto the Bran Carrier for the journey back to the ambulance before onwards travel to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“While technology and developments undoubtedly helped in her treatment, the Bran Carrier which has been in use since the First World War proved the most effective way of getting her to the ambulance.”

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Bran Carrier Stretcher

(Library Picture)

Crash on the M50

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – 4.35pm – Murray MacGregor.

Two people have been hurt after a lorry and a car collided leaving the lorry straddling a motorway central reservation.

The crash happened at about 2.20pm on Wednesday on the westbound M50 between junctions 1 and 2.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found the HGV on the central reservation and a car on its side; both had significant damage.

“The car driver was trapped for around 20 minutes.  Ambulance and fire crews worked to extricate her safely.  She was assessed at the scene before being airlifted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“The lorry driver was able to get out of the cab himself despite the damage.  He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken by land ambulance to the same hospital.”

The road is likely to be closed for some time due to the damage and recovery work.

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M50 RTC

Man dies after crash

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – 9.21am – Murray MacGregor.

One man has died and four other people have been hurt after a two vehicle crash.

The collision happened at about 1.10am on Frankley Lane near the junction of Scotland Lane in the Kitwell area of south west Birmingham.

Five ambulances, three paramedic officers, the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic and the Hazardous Area Response Team were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived, they found two cars that had been in collision; one had subsequently caught fire.

“There were three men in the first car.  Sadly, one was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The other two were treated at the scene for injuries not thought to be life-threatening and were taken by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“There were two people in the other car.  The driver, a man, and a women in rear; they were both treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries and were also taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.”

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Blue Lights at Night (2)

Are you really fine?

Tuesday 14th May 2019 – 3.50pm – Murray MacGregor.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, the average adult will say “I’m fine” 14 times this week, Mental Health Awareness Week, yet less than 20% will actually mean it!

It’s been known for some time that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.  In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Over recent years, we have been working hard to improve the support we provide to our staff.  Given the types of cases that they deal with, we need to be sure that we get better at making sure their mental wellbeing really is ‘fine’.

Director of Workforce, Kim Nurse, said: “We have 24-hour support through their management team, our Staff Advice and Liaison Service (SALS) and the Trust is employing two psychotherapists who will provide dedicated help for staff.  We also procure specialist support from an external counselling service The Listening Centre who can support staff with a variety of help.

“With a workforce of over 5,000, we want to be certain that we have a range of support in place to assist our staff stay mentally well in addition to their physical health.   We know that some of the cases that our staff deal with are extremely difficult, so we want to do as much as we can to support their wellbeing.

“Another important development for the Trust is our training of hundreds of staff in Mental Health First Aid courses.  These courses teach our staff to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support.  The training teaches people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and potentially reach out to someone before a crisis happens.  Feedback has been really positive, and all courses have been fully attended with a waiting list for staff wanting to be included in the future.

“As a Trust we have moved forward significantly, but recognise that we need to keep moving forward so that we can continue to support our staff so that they can support the public when they need us most.”

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One airlifted after RTC

Monday 13th May 2019 – 1.55pm – Murray MacGregor.

One person has been airlifted and another treated after a two vehicle crash that saw two cars leave the dual carriageway and go down an embankment into some trees.

The incident happened this morning at about 9.45am on the A46 between Harvington and Salford Priors in Warwickshire.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One arrival, ambulance staff found two cars, one of which was seriously damaged.

“The driver of the first car had suffered serious injuries.  Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate her.  She was assessed and treated on the scene before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The middle-aged man driving the other vehicle, was able to get out of the car himself.  After assessment at the scene, he was taken to Warwick Hospital for continued care.

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HMED 09 at sunset

Rider dies after crash in Velo

Monday 13th May 2019 – 8.45am – Murray MacGregor.

A cyclist participating in Vélo Birmingham & Midlands has died after coming off his bike.

It happened at about 7.45am on Coleshill Road, Atherstone, which was at around the 23 mile mark, happened on is a rural location with a steep downhill section with tight left and right bends.

An event medic was first on scene and immediately requested ambulance back up.  An ambulance and the Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance were sent.

A West Midlands Air Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The middle aged man suffered serious injuries.

“He received advanced life support before being airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire but sadly died later.

“A second patient who was present at the scene was treated by event medical staff.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 84 of 12th May.

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Hmed54

Wall collapse in Birmingham

Thursday 9th May 2019 – 7.45am – Murray MacGregor.

One man has died and two others have been assessed by ambulance staff after a wall collapsed at a property in the Hockley area of Birmngham.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Vittoria Street at 5.40pm on Wednesday evening.

Two ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff were faced with the aftermath of a wall collapse.

“Tragically, one man was confirmed dead at the scene.

“A second man was assessed and treated by ambulance staff before being taken to Sandwell Hospital.  A third was assessed and discharged at the scene.

“Ambulance staff worked closely with police and fire crews at the scene.”

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Wall Collapse - Vittoria Street

 

 

 

 

Shooting in Wolverhampton

Monday 7th May 2019 – 8.35am – Murray MacGregor.

Ambulance staff and a doctor treated a teenager who was shot in Wolverhampton last night (Monday 6th May).

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Graiseley Street in the Pennfields area at 7.49pm to reports of an assault.

An ambulance was on scene within five minutes and was backed up by two paramedic officers and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic.

The teenager was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to hospital; the doctor travelled with the crew.

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ASO in mirror reflection

Trust takes part in trial that could help thousands of patients

Tuesday 7th May 2019 – 6.00am – Murray MacGregor.

Paramedics in the West Midlands are taking part in a clinical trial that could result in thousands fewer patients with heart complaints being taken to hospital; instead being treated at home.

The study, titled PRESTO (the Pre-hospital Evaluation of Sensitive Troponin), is part of the NHS’ ambition to find new ways of delivering healthcare more efficiently without the need for hospital treatment.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is working with three other ambulance services in the trial which is led by the University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Consultant Paramedic, Matt Ward, said: “Chest pain is the second most common reason why people call 999.  However, it doesn’t always mean the patient is having a heart attack; the symptoms are often similar for non-cardiac conditions.

“What this trial is aiming to do is to allow paramedics to carry out a test at scene which would allow them to know which are which.  If the research is positive it could result in ambulance staff being able to provide reassurance much sooner to patients with chest pain while also reducing the number of patients ambulance crews take to A&E departments.”

The trial will be run in Coventry & Warwickshire; the Trust will work with Warwick Hospital and University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.

For patients willing to take part, they will continue to get exactly the same treatment as they do now except for the paramedic taking a small vial of blood at the scene.  In total, it is hoped 100 patients will take part locally; 700 nationally.

Researchers have already developed a system called the ‘Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision aid’ to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions from A&E and enable earlier specialist treatment to those that need it.  Over a third of all patients having the test do not need to be admitted to hospital.  The PRESTO study is now assessing whether this decision aid is suitable for use before patients are taken to hospital.

WMAS Research Paramedic, Imogen Gunson, added: “If the trial is successful it could be possible to provide all ambulances with a portable blood testing device which would allow ambulance staff to run these important tests without patients having to be taken to the hospital.

“The impact would be huge; clinicians would be able to make more informed decisions about the best patient care with more in-depth tests at the patient’s side at scene.  As well as providing those patients with non-cardiac related chest pain with reassurance, it would mean those that are having acute coronary problems would receive treatment more quickly resulting in better treatment and potentially saving lives.”

The study is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network: Greater Manchester and receiving in kind support from Abbott Point of Care, LumiraDx and Roche Diagnostics International Ltd.Hospital - UHCW 6

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It’s not smart; it’s certainly not clever; in fact it can put lives at risk

Thursday 2nd May 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

Bosses at West Midlands Ambulance Service are warning that lives could be at risk if people continue to make hoax calls to the service.

New data shows that over the last five years, there have been almost 5,500 malicious call outs.

This has not only wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash, it could have put lives at risk because it delayed answering calls to and responding to patient who are critically ill or injured.

Year Number of Hoax Calls
2014-15 1,171
2015-16 1,283
2016-17 905
2017-18 990
2018-19 1,088
Total 5,437

Jeremy Brown, who is charge of the regions two ambulance emergency operations centres said: “At a time when we are busier than ever, the fact that some people think it is appropriate to deliberately make 999 calls when there is no need is despicable.

“Given we now regularly receive around 4,000 emergency calls each day, the fact that the numbers have remained largely at the same level shows the tremendous dedication of my staff who challenge calls and ensure resources are not sent to a good proportion of these hoax calls.

“With a Bank Holiday ahead and children off school, we would urge parents and guardians to be mindful that quite a lot of hoax calls do come from youngsters.

“Over the years we have seen all sorts of calls: we’ve had people calling about patients not breathing, serious road traffic collisions, patients committing suicide and claims patients are about to die.  Understandably, these can be distressing for my call handlers, but when we then send vital resources on blue lights to these cases only to find that there is no-one there, you can imagine what we think.

“Not only has it tied up a call handler dealing with the call, it means those ambulances have had to drive on blue lights through often busy streets putting other drivers at risk, only to find that there was no need.  Worse, it means they weren’t here for patients who were genuinely in need of that response.  It is appalling.

“We have seen a number of people charged and convicted where they have maliciously abused the 999 call system and we will not hesitate to push for prosecutions again, if that is appropriate.

“Considering we now receive well over a million calls a year, thankfully the number of these which are hoaxes is still very low, but even one is one too many.  We would ask everyone to help us reduce these numbers further so that we can provide the best possible service to the people who need us most.”

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call assessors TG 2018

 

 

Woman airlifted after crash

Monday 25th March 2019 – 9.20am – Murray MacGregor.

A woman has been airlifted to a major trauma centre after a two-car crash.

The incident happened at about 5.15pm on Wednesday afternoon on the A515, Tewnals Lane, just to the south of Lichfield Golf and Country Club.

Two ambulances, two paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found two cars, one of which had suffered significant damage.

“Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate the woman driving one of the cars.  She had suffered serious injuries and after treatment at the scene, was airlifted to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

“The middle-aged man from the second car had been able to get out himself.  His injuries were less serious.  After assessment at the scene, he was taken on blue lights to Walsall Manor Hospital for further assessment.”

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HMED 09 at RSUH

Death in Harborne

Thursday 25th April 2019 – 8.15am – Murray MacGregor.

A man was confirmed dead at the scene of an assault in Birmingham last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to a location given as near Harborne Golf Club on Tennal Rd in the Harborne area at just after 7.10pm on Wednesday evening.

An 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 service staff found a man who had suffered critical injuries.

“They provided advanced life support at the scene but sadly it was not possible to save him, and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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Blue Lights at Night (2)

One hurt after M6 Crash

Wednesday 10th April 2019 – 8.45am – Murray MacGregor.

A lorry driver has been hurt after a collision between two lorries on the M6.

The crash happened at about 5.10am this morning (Wednesday) between the off and on slip roads at junction 10.

An ambulance and two paramedic officers were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival ambulance staff two lorries that had suffered considerable damage.

“Thankfully, both drivers had been able to get out of the cabs of their vehicles unaided.

“The driver of the rear lorry was assessed at the scene by ambulance staff before being taken to Walsall Manor Hospital for further treatment with what are believed to be non-serious injuries.

“The other driver was unhurt.”

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Pictures courtesy of @HighwaysWestMids

M6 1

Woman dies after RTC

Wednesday 3rd April 2019 – 9.05am – Murray MacGregor.

A woman has died after a collision between a car and a 4×4.

It happened at around 5.40am on the M5 northbound between junctions 5 and 4a, near Bromsgrove.

Two ambulances, two paramedic officers 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 car that had suffered considerable damage.  An off duty paramedic and bystanders were trying to assist the car driver,

“Unfortunately, despite all efforts, it was not possible to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene.

“Two men in the 4×4 were assessed but were unhurt and were discharged at the scene.”

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Ambulance and Officer Car at night

(Library Picture)

12 months of progress

Thursday 21st March 2019 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

New figures show that West Midlands Ambulance is getting to more patients, more quickly than ever before.

The data, which was published by NHS England shows that the Trust has improved its performance in each of the four categories of calls that it is measured on.  It also remains the only Trust in the country exceeding all of the standards.

Call category Target February 2018 February 2019 Improvement
Category 1 Mean response (7mins) 07:03 06:44 -4.5%
90th percentile (15 mins) 12:06 11:41 -3.4%
Category 2 Mean response (18 mins) 13:14 12:32 -5.3%
90th percentile (40 mins) 24:22 22:49 -6.4%
Category 3 Mean response (60 mins 41:35 38:42 -6.9%
90th percentile (120 mins) 1.36:47 1.27:31 -9.6%
Category 4 90th percentile (180 mins) 2.42:23 2.01:34 -25.1%

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This is excellent news for patients and is down to the incredible efforts of our staff, who work so hard in often difficult circumstances to ensure patients get the best possible care.

“The new ambulance response standards, which were introduced last year, have allowed us to prioritise those patients in greatest need, while ensuring that every call counts.

“What the figures show is that despite the number of 999 calls continuing to rise, response times have improved considerably.

“These response standards are helping to make real improvements to the way we treat patients, prioritising the people who need us most, for example those having a cardiac arrest.

“However, they have also allowed us to make changes that mean patients with conditions such as heart attacks and strokes get the right treatment much sooner, which is having a real benefit to those individuals long term outcomes, which is great news.

“This is a real team effort to achieve such high standards.  That team starts with the staff who take our 999 calls, those that dispatch the vehicles as well as those who respond.  We are now achieving our aim of putting a paramedic on every vehicle, the only Trust in the country doing so;

“We have the newest fleet of vehicles in the country that brings real benefits for patients and staff alike; and we will continue to invest in the people that support our frontline staff, like those that restock and clean the vehicles, the fleet department who maintain them and those that ensure that we have the right equipment available for our staff to use.

“As a Trust, we will continue to do everything possible to ensure we provide the highest quality of care to every patient.”

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IMG_3517

Rider dies after motorcycle crash

Friday 15th March 2019 – 11.07am – Murray MacGregor.

A woman motorcyclist has died after a crash late last night.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Hawes Lane in Rowley Regis in the Black Country at 11.40pm on Thursday evening.

Two ambulances, 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 woman who had suffered very serious injuries.

“Ambulance staff provided advanced care at the scene before she was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, but sadly was confirmed dead shortly after arrival.”

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ASO in mirror reflection

 

 

Fatal crash

Friday 15th March 2019 – 9.02am – Murray MacGregor.

Two children have died and a woman has been injured after a two car crash.

The tragic incident happened at the junction of Lawnswood Avenue and Birmingham New Road in the Ettingshall area of Wolverhampton at around 8.45pm last night (Thursday).

An ambulance arrived on scene five minutes after the initial 999 call and was backed up by a second ambulance, the MERIT Trauma doctor and critical care paramedic and two paramedic officers.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival ambulance staff found a number of members of the public tending to those involved in the crash.

“There were three patients who all came from the same car.  Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that nothing could be done to save the two young boys who had been badly hurt and they were confirmed dead at the scene.

“A woman who had been driving the car was assessed and treated at the scene by ambulance staff before being taken to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.  Her injuries are not life threatening.

“There were no other patients.”

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Two ambulances at night

Woman trapped for over an hour after crash

Thursday 7th March 2019 – 5.25pm – Murray MacGregor.

A woman was left trapped for over an hour after the car she was in collided with a tree.

The single vehicle crash happened on Whitemoor Lane, near Astwood Bank to the south of Redditch at about 11.20am on Thursday morning.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a car that had suffered very extensive damage with one wheel a considerable distance from the rest of the car.

“The woman driver, who was the only occupant had suffered multiple injuries and was trapped.  Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate her safely from the wreckage.

“After a full assessment and treatment at the scene, she was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham by ambulance with the aircrew travelling with them.”

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7-year-old cardiac arrest survivor meets crews who helped save his life

Tommy Plant 1

Monday 4th March 2019 – 1.20pm – Murray MacGregor.

A seven-year-old boy who went into cardiac arrest at home has visited ambulance staff who helped save his life, just six weeks after the incident.

Tommy Plant became ill at home in the Brandwood End area of Birmingham on the morning of Saturday 19th Jan 2019.  His condition worsened quickly and when ambulance crews arrived they found his dad Jason doing CPR.

Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

Tommy was taken on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in cardiac arrest where staff at the hospital took over his care and managed to get his heart restarted.  Unbelievably, just 16 days later Tommy was discharged from hospital.

Today, Tommy and his parents came to meet the crews from Hollymoor Hub who helped to save his life.

Operations manager, Wendy Hands, said: “This was a real team effort, from the staff in the control room who provided CPR advice over the phone, the dispatchers who got the ambulances to the scene so quickly and the staff who took over from Tommy’s Dad.   None of us can believe how well Tommy looks and we’re just so pleased to be able to meet him today.”

Tommy was presented with a Birmingham City shirt with Tommy 999 printed on it as a gift from the Hollymoor staff.  The football club were also kind enough to donated six tickets for Tommy and his family to attend the next match against Millwall.

In return Tommy brought a card, chocolates and biscuits to thank staff for saving his life.  He was able to tell staff about his recollections of the day including “being in the bumpy ambulance”!

Picture shows (L-R): Operations Managers Wendy Hands, Tom George, Michael Francis, Alison, Tommy and Jason Plant, Jordan Lane, Michelle Stubbs and Worcester University Student, Daniel Stokes.

Tommy and his parents are now raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.  Speaking on their Just Giving Page, the family say:

“On 19th January 2019, life would never be the same again, our son Tommy suffered a cardiac arrest at home.  Against the odds they managed to get his little heart beating again.

“The staff within the A&E department worked tirelessly to save him, not forgetting the wonderful WMAS who supported him from home to the hospital.  Due to such amazing care, support, dedication and professionalism, Tommy walked out of Birmingham Children’s Hospital on 4th February.

“We owe them everything, so we are wanting to raise not just awareness of the world class care and treatments they provide, we also want to give something back…as much as we can, therefore we are hoping to raise money to support these life savers, to ensure that they can continue in the amazing work they do.

You can go to their fundraising page: http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jason-plant3

Fatal collision in Bedworth

Monday 25th February 2019 – 4.40pm – Murray MacGregor.

A cyclist has died after a road traffic collision involving a lorry.

It happened on Newtown Road in Bedworth, Warwickshire at about 1.40pm on Monday afternoon.

An ambulance arrived just five minutes after the 999 call and was backed up by a paramedic officer.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Sadly, it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The lorry driver and a woman pedestrian who was at the scene were assessed but both were discharged.”

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Rear of ambulance 2018

Making blue lights go green!

Tuesday 19th February 2019 – 08.00am – Murray MacGregor.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has welcomed a challenge from NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens to vehicle manufacturers to help “blue lights go green”.

Mr Stevens wants the manufacturers to develop more environmentally friendly ambulances, which will cut air pollution.  The NHS accounts for almost 10 billion journeys each year – around 3.5% of all road travel in the UK – as staff and patients travel to work and appointments and medical supplies are delivered.

WMAS Fleet General Manager, Tony Page, said: “As a Trust we have the most modern ambulance fleet in the country and have made significant changes to our fleet that has substantially reduced the level of pollution we create over the past six years

“We use van conversions which are almost a tonne lighter than the modular vehicles used by other services which immediately produces savings in fuel and operating costs.

“We have worked closely with staff and the converters to improve the designs so they are easier to operate in and have then invested significantly in producing vehicles that are considerably lighter which has reduced our CO2 emissions.

“Had we not made the changes we would have created an additional 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year!

“We made a commitment to our staff five years ago that none of our frontline vehicles would be older than five years.  As well as meaning they are a better place to work, it has allowed us to make many other improvements including:

  • Using new technology pioneered in the aircraft industry to reduce the weight of the ambulances by almost 10%. This brings real savings in fuel, tyres and vehicle spares as well improving the vehicles handling and ride quality
  • A newer fleet substantially increases the availability of vehicles and reduces the level of spares required which has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds.
  • Although the number of incidents has risen by 28% over the last six years, we have only increased our fleet size by 7% due to better availability of vehicles

“Our objectives for the next few years will be to implement the issues highlighted in the NHS Improvement Carter Report which will focus on further weight reductions from vehicle conversion, exploiting telematics, making further improvements to the saloons of the ambulances which will further improve the working environment for crews and make the patient experience better.  If the vehicle manufacturers can play their part too, we can continue to make a real difference to the environment.”

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Ambulances in the sun 2