Study into heart attacks could save hundreds of lives

Murray MacGregor – Monday 14th December 2020 – 6.00am.

A study that is looking to see if more heart attacks can be identified and earlier could lead to hundreds of lives being saved across not just the UK, but around the world.

The research being carried out by West Midlands Ambulance Service and two other ambulance services is being funded by the British Heart Foundation and will try to establish the best way to diagnose people having a heart attack.

In the UK there are nearly 200,000 hospital visits each year due to heart attacks: the equivalent of one every three minutes. In the 1960s more than 7 out of 10 heart attacks in the UK were fatal, however, advances in treatment mean that today at least 7 out of 10 people survive.

A heart attack, which is different to a cardiac arrest, happens when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart muscle. Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. The most common signs are pain or discomfort in the chest. But other symptoms can include pain in the arm, neck, and jaw, or feelings of sickness, light-headedness or shortness of breath.

Now, frontline ambulance crews from West Midlands, South Western and the Welsh Ambulance Services will work with researchers at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, Swansea University and the University of Leeds to identify if there are additional times when ambulance crews should perform an ECG (electrocardiogram) test.

Currently a pre-hospital ECG is performed on patients complaining of acute chest pain.  The device measures electrical activity in the heart through a series of wires attached to the patient’s chest.

Research Paramedic Josh Miller, said: “Data already shows that in about a third of cases, when a patient is having a heart attack, they haven’t had an ECG done by the ambulance crew because the patient didn’t show any of the classic signs – chest pain or pain in the arm, neck, and jaw, or feelings of sickness, light-headedness or shortness of breath.

“Earlier studies show that this is more common in older people and particularly women.  Because of this, the study will look to see if there are other atypical signs that ambulance staff should be looking out for. 

“This is important because if an ECG was done on these patients they would get the specialist treatment they need more quickly, which might result in the crew bypassing the local hospital and going straight to a specialist centre, which means more patients will survive.

“In this study we will be looking back at the medical records where we know the patient had had a heart attack to look at whether an ECG was done by the ambulance crew, and if not, if there is an indication as to why they didn’t do one.

“We will also hold focus groups with paramedics to understand better their decision making processes on whether to do an ECG.”

As for what the outcome of the study might be, Josh says, there will be no immediate changes for ambulance crews but the study could lead to significant developments worldwide: “We might need to change our advice to ambulance staff as to when they choose to do an ECG so that they do an ECG more often and therefore pick up more heart attacks. 

“The second area that might change is around ambulance workforce provision; currently, not all ambulance services in the world have a paramedic on every ambulance, as is the case in the West Midlands.  By having a paramedic on board would mean that there is someone who is trained to interpret an ECG which would allow them to identify if there is a heart attack ongoing which would lead to the patient getting taken straight to a specialist centre.”

Josh says, when you talk to patients who have had heart attacks, many were absolutely stunned that that is what was happening.  Pam Smith from South Staffordshire had been moving bales of hay just before she dialled 999 thinking she had bad indigestion.

Naresh Sabharwall from Stourbridge says he had a bit of a headache but had no pain.  Thankfully, he got help from a local shopkeeper after he suffered a massive heart attack that ended up in him going into cardiac arrest.

It’s not just members of the public who don’t recognise they are having a heart attack.  Retired GP, Dr Richard Johnson from North Worcestershire didn’t realise until he saw the ECG that the ambulance crew carried out on him.  He ended up being blue lighted straight to theatre for emergency surgery.

Tom Quinn, Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing who is leading the project, added: “Ambulance staff play a crucial role in early assessment of patients with a suspected heart attack.  Previous research has shown that people receiving the test were more likely to survive. 

“There could be a variety of reasons why around a third of heart attack patients don’t get an ECG from ambulance crews; for example, we know that women and older people are less likely to receive one, perhaps because of cultural issues, not wanting to overplay the seriousness of the situation or because some heart attack patients do not report ‘classic chest pain’ type symptoms.

“By looking at nationwide data on the treatment of heart attacks and by speaking to ambulance crews working on the frontline we hope to develop a clearer picture of when these ECGs should be used.  We can use this knowledge to empower ambulance crews, help them make the most effective decisions and ultimately save more lives.”

Lee Kettle, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “This research really could lead to hundreds of lives being saved.  We see this as a chance to empower ambulance staff so that they have the data and research which will give them the confidence to carry out more ECGs and therefore identify more heart attacks.”

Please note that the videos were filmed prior to COVID-19 pandemic

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Three injured after two car crash

Murray MacGregor – Monday 7th December 2020 – 10.45am.

Three people have been taken to hospital, one by air after a serious crash on Saturday afternoon.

The collision happened close to the junction of the A46 Evesham bypass and The Link at around 2.20pm.

An ambulance that was taking a patient to hospital came across the incident and stopped to provide care until a further two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham arrived at the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found two cars that had suffered significant damage. The drivers of both cars were trapped in their vehicles.

“The driver of the first car was trapped for almost an hour.  He had suffered multiple injuries.  After assessment and treatment at the scene, he was airlifted to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with potentially serious injuries.

“There were two people in the second car.  The driver was trapped for around 40 minutes.  He too was assessed and treated at the scene.  He was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with potentially serious injuries.  A critical care paramedic travelled with the ambulance crew.

“The front seat passenger in the car, a woman, had been able to get out of the vehicle herself.  She had suffered less serious injuries and was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance.”

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Fatal crash in Coventry

Murray MacGregor – Monday 7th December 2020 – 8.40am.

An elderly woman has died after a collision between a car and a lorry.

The crash happened on London Road in the Willenhall area of Coventry at around 2.45pm on Sunday afternoon.

Two ambulances, two paramedic officers and The Air Ambulance Service Critical Care Car attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The Critical Care Car arrived very quickly from its base at Coventry Airport.  On arrival, they found a car that had suffered significant damage.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the medics and ambulance staff, nothing could be done to save the woman, who was the front seat passenger, and she was confirmed dead at the scene.

“The driver of the car was able to get out of the vehicle himself.  He was assessed and found to be unhurt and was discharged at scene.”

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Trust welcomes tough sentence

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 24th November 2020 – 4.00pm.

A student paramedic who had his jaw broken so badly that it needed a metal plate inserted says he hopes a tough sentence will serve as a warning to others who attack emergency services staff.

Chris Cooling, 40, was part of an ambulance crew that was called to treat Jamie Davies in Winifred Avenue, Earlsdon, Coventry, after he reported having breathing difficulties.

Davies, 21, proceeded to attack Mr Cooling punching him in the face breaking his jaw.  Davies was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and today was jailed for seven years and two months after entered a guilty plea at Coventry Crown Court.

Mr Cooling has yet to return to operational duties due to ongoing pain in his jaw and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He said: “I am extremely happy with the outcome of the court case and hope that it serves as deterrent to others.

“This incident has had a massive impact on me; I have so far lost seven months of my life to this attack and I am not yet able to resume my career, a career that I love.  This court case has re-opened old wounds and I fear I will always have to live with the fear of something like this happening again. 

“Like my colleagues, I come to work to help people.  Whilst I suffered particularly severe injuries many others have also been attacked.  It is sentences like this that will make people stop and think before they do something similar, yet too often the sentences do not reflect the effect such incidents have on us.

“I would like to thank West Midlands Ambulance Service for their support throughout and also to West Midlands Police for their quick response and the Crown Prosecution Service for putting such a strong case together.”

Coventry Senior Operations Manager, Dan Swain, added: “This sort of attack cannot be allowed to happen again and I am so pleased that the Judge took such tough action.  I have accompanied too many staff to similar trials and never seen such a strong outcome.  I really hope that it makes the point that this sort of attack is not acceptable and that other members of the judiciary follow this lead.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “When I heard about this assault on one of my crews, I was horrified.

“The length of time that it has taken Chris to recover is a sign of just how serious this assault was.  Not only has it been awful for him, but it has robbed the public of a hard working member of NHS staff at a time when the health service is under immense pressure.

“I am determined that we will work with police colleagues to bring anyone who attacks my staff to justice.”

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Peer support saved my life

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 24th November 2020 – 8.00am.

“I would be dead now if it wasn’t for SALS; they saved my life and have changed my life.”  The words of a paramedic after being helped by the Trust’s Staff Advice and Liaison Service, SALS. 

SALS is a peer support network in West Midlands Ambulance Service that provides signposting, advice and a listening ear to all members of staff.  They develop safe, confidential, non-stigmatising services for staff to turn to when they are struggling and need help.  It includes confidential advisors who are able to facilitate Social, Emotional, Educational Support meetings in the event of a particularly distressing incident.

Today, Elaine Weaver, who co-ordinates the scheme has been revealed as one of ten nominations who have been chosen as regional champions for the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards in ‘The Wellbeing at Work Award’.  The Awards give MPs and NHS leaders the opportunity to honour health and care staff who have helped to improve treatment for patients.

With the mental health of staff being recognised as a national imperative, the SALS team, which is co-ordinated by Elaine is helping around 1,000 staff a year. Their work includes supporting staff after a traumatic case, helping them cope with bereavement and work related stress. 

Elaine has worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service for 27 years as a Capital Accountant.  She became a SALS Advisor 10 years ago and took on the lead role three years ago.  SALS now boasts over 40 trained peer advisors who are available 24/7 for staff when they need that help. 

Elaine said: “My talents for problem solving and critical thinking, empathy and understanding of issues faced by ambulance staff have helped me mould the SALS team to the strong peer support team it is today.

“Building on experience, I have utilised connections to community charities and internal avenues to tackle problems faced by members of staff. I am proud to have forged connections with other Ambulance Services, holding a national peer support forum and assisted other services in the creation of their peer support network.

“I am particularly proud that I was nominated by a number of our SALS Advisers unbeknown to me.  In their words, it is my passion, caring nature and support for them and my colleagues across the Trust in their hour of need that they put me forward.”

Paramedic Debbie Styzaker, who is one of the SALS Advisors, added: “Elaine has almost single handily bought SALS into its current position.  She works endlessly for SALS and is always ready to help any of the advisors.  I have known her to be contactable morning, noon and night; she is a wonderful asset not only to us SALS advisors but also to WMAS staff.”

The Trust supports this work by providing facilities and training for the SALS team.  Recently, it also employed two mental wellbeing practitioners to support the work of SALS so that even more staff can access the wellbeing support that they need.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I am immensely proud that Elaine will be representing the Midlands in the national finals; she would be a very worthy national winner. 

“The work the SALS team do means many staff, who might otherwise have spent time off work dealing with issues, are helped at an early stage allowing them to come to terms with the issue and return to work in a more comfortable and confident manner.  Not only does that help the individual, it helps patients too.

“While the figures for the number of staff they help may seem high (1:7 staff accessing the service) they are reassuring to me, because I know that individuals are getting the support that they need as they deal with the challenges of the job and also their home lives.

“With the impact of corona virus on the mental wellbeing of staff still relatively unknown, it seems inevitable that the SALS team will only get busier over the coming weeks and months.”

Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said: “I was impressed by the high standard of all entries from the Midlands and choosing between the dozens of teams and individuals who all go above and beyond, to go forward and represent our region, has been incredibly difficult. I wish our champions the best of luck in the national heats and will be rooting for them on the day.”

Elaine and the other regional champions will now go head to head with other winners from across the country to be judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing staff and patients, for the chance to win the prestigious national award which will be presented at a special ceremony in the House of Commons on the 7 July 2021.

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Somewhere to Reflect, Remember and Reminisce

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 5th November 2020 – 4.30pm.

As we approach Remembrance Day, hundreds of staff within West Midlands Ambulance Service will have somewhere that they can pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also remember their own colleagues who have passed away.

Thanks to a donation from the NHS Charities Together, every WMAS site that can, is developing or upgrading a remembrance garden.

The idea is to provide each one with an outdoor area which is away from the hustle and bustle of everyday work; somewhere where colleagues can take time for quiet reflection.

To date, NHS Charities Together has donated £127,000 to the Trust to enhance the well-being of NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by COVID-19.  The board and trustees and management of the charity has agreed to spend the funding for a remembrance garden at each site and also purchase benches for these sites so that staff can socially distance more easily during their downtime.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We are tremendously grateful to NHS Charities Together for such a generous donation which I know has been welcomed by our staff.

“The development of the gardens is being led by the staff at each site to look at what they would like to achieve so that it is personal to them.  A number of sites such as those at Dudley, Erdington and Willenhall have already made excellent progress, often with the support of local suppliers who have provided services free of charge.  For example, at Willenhall, Whiting Landscape provided their assistance free of charge, which is both incredibly generous and very much welcomed. 

“This has been a year like no other due to COVID-19, but I have no doubt that the development of these gardens will make a difference to our staff and allow them time to reflect, remember and reminisce.”

NHS Charities Together is membership organisation representing, supporting and championing NHS Charities.  It provides a forum for nationwide fundraising and advocacy campaigns and gives over £1million every day to support the NHS and it’s staff so that they can enhance patient experience and care.  You can find out more about NHS Charities Together at www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/

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Just the 1.4 million calls answered!

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 5th November 2020 – 12.45pm.

A year ago to the day, West Midlands Ambulance Service took it’s first 111 call.  Today, 1.4 million calls later, staff are celebrating an incredibly successful first year. 

The Trust provides the service across the West Midlands (excluding Staffordshire) from a call centre in Brierley Hill. 

No-one could have foreseen the year that has just happened: as well as the many improvements implemented, the effect COVID-19 has had on 111 has been immense. The challenges and successes were heavily featured on the Channel 4 programme Paramedics: Britain’s Lifesavers back in the summer.

Head of 111, Rob Till, said: “We initially played a crucial role in arranging test appointments and providing results before testing was moved online.  More recently, we have become a gateway to many other NHS services such as urgent treatment centres and for GP appointments and that will continue over the coming months.

“In the last 12 months we have recruited 739 new call handlers and clinicians.  This means we are always one of the top providers for answering calls quickly. We also now have GP’s, advanced nurses and paramedics, dental nurses, mental health nurses and pharmacists giving specialist advice to patients, 24 hours day. 

“Having such a dedicated team meant we were able to maintain a great service to patients throughout the challenging COVID peak and continue to assist other 111 areas with their calls when necessary.

“Our staff have done an amazing job and we are in a really strong position ahead of the most challenging winter the NHS has ever faced.” 

Paul Maubach, Chief Executive of the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups, who commission the 111 service, said: “I want to thank the staff who work within 111 for the exceptional efforts they have put into running this service during one of the most challenging periods the NHS has ever seen.  The fact that you have been able to answer so many calls, help patients and provide a great service is testament to your hard work. 

“111 has proved itself to be a vital part of the NHS and with the developments that are coming over the next 12 months I am in no doubt that you will continue to provide a great service for patients and continue to be a crucial part of the NHS.”

WMAS Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care Director, Jeremy Brown, added: “I am always very proud when our commissioners remark on what a great service the staff are providing.  When you consider the level of recruitment and our response to COVID-19, they really have been exemplary. 

“The future also looks exciting with the full integration of the 999 and 111 services which will benefit staff and patients.  We are already seeing an increase in the number of ambulance crews accessing the specialist advice available from the advanced clinicians in the 111 call centre, which is helping to reduce the number of patients being taken to A&E.  We also expect to see the further development of video triaging, which is already benefitting patients. The next year looks just as exciting as the first.” 

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh commented: “This has been a real success story despite the extraordinary challenges that the 111 service has faced.  With the developments coming, we will create an even better service. Congratulations to everyone in 111.”

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Man injured by own car

Murray MacGregor – Monday 2nd November 2020 – 5.25pm.

A man has suffered potentially serious injuries after being run over by his own car.

The incident happened in Warren Farm Road in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham at around 2.50pm on Monday afternoon.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance critical care car and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews were told that the man had tried to stop his car rolling backward but it had rolled over him.

“Bystanders were able to free him before ambulance staff arrived eight minutes after the 999 call.

“The man had suffered potentially serious injuries.  After being treated at the scene, the middle aged man was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with a critical care paramedic travelling with the crew.”

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Boy badly hurt after collision

Murray MacGregor – Monday 26th October 2020 – 2.10pm.

A teenager has received potentially life changing injuries after a collision with a car on a car park off Bath Road in the Longton Area of Stoke. 

An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene after a 999 call at just before 6.30pm on Sunday evening. 

The boy suffered multiple injuries.  After assessment at the scene, he was taken on blue lights to Royal Stoke University Hospital where doctors were awaiting his arrival. 

There were no other patients.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, or via social media, quoting incident number 602 of 25 October or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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Two pedestrians hurt in collision involving a van and a wall

Murray MacGregor – Monday 26th October 2020 – 12.25pm.

Two pedestrians have been hurt, one seriously after a van collided with them and a wall. 

The incident happened in the car park of Dunelm Mill in Bilston Road in Wolverhampton at around 2.20pm on Sunday afternoon.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer 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 crews found the man and woman at the base of a collapsed wall beside a van.

“The man had suffered serious injuries and after assessment at the scene, was airlifted to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The woman who was with him was also assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to New Cross Hospital by ambulance.

“Two other people who witnessed what happened were also assessed but were discharged at the scene.”

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Five hurt in weekend crash

Murray MacGregor – Monday 26th October 2020 – 9.55am.

Five people have been hurt, two seriously, after a single vehicle crash.

The incident happened near St Nicholas Church on Oldbury Road in Bridgnorth at just after 11.00pm on Saturday night.

Five ambulances, three paramedic officers the MERIT Trauma Doctor and critical care paramedic and a further BASICS doctor were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found a car on its roof with damage to all four sides.

There were five patients in total:

A woman in the rear seat was trapped for around half an hour.  Firefighters worked with ambulance staff to extricate her.  After being assessed at the scene, she was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the MERIT trauma doctor travelling with the ambulanc crew.

“The driver of the car, a man was taken to the same hospital with the other doctor travelling with that ambulance crew.

“A second rear seat passenger was assessed at the scene.  He was taken on blue lights to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.  The third person in the rear of the car had been able to get out of the vehicle himself but was taken to the same hospital.

“A teenager in the front passenger seat was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to Russell Hall Hospital for further treatment.”

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Fatal crash in Herefordshire

Murray MacGregor – Monday 28th September 2020 – 2.25pm.

A driver has died after the van he was in collided with a barrier outside the Weston Cider plant in Much Marcle near Ledbury.

The initial call came through at just after 10.30 this morning, Monday.  An ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham with a doctor and critical care paramedic on board were sent to the scene along with a second BASICS emergency doctor.

 A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found the man trapped in his van.

“Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to rapidly extricate the man from the vehicle and immediately started advanced life support.

“Sadly, despite best efforts, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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Three hurt after early morning collision

Murray MacGregor – Monday 28th September 2020 – 9.30am.

Three people have been taken to hospital with potentially serious injuries after a collision in Birmingham early this morning, Monday.

The crash between a car and a van happened at the junction of Pershore Road and St Stevens Road in the Stirchley area at 5.25am.  The car ended up against a building.  Both vehicles had suffered significant damage.

Three ambulances, two paramedic officers and the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.  An off-duty member of ambulance staff en-route for a day shift came across the incident and also assisted at the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “There were two male teenagers in the car.  The first was helped out of the vehicle by bystanders.  He was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

“The other teenager was initially able to get out of the vehicle himself.  He was also assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“The van driver, a middle aged man, was helped from the wreckage of his vehicle and was treated for significant injuries before also being taken on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.”

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Picture courtesy of West Midlands Police Force Response Unit (@ResponseWMP)

Thank you for saving Dad’s life

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 10th September 2020 – 11.10am.

THANK YOU FOR SAVING DAD’S LIFE

If you’ve ever wondered just how important knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and having a defibrillator close at hand is, then ask John Walton.

The cardiac arrest that he suffered was captured by film crews who were following critical care paramedic Aidan Brown for the Channel 5 programme Ambulance: Code Red.

On 16th January this year, John suffered a cardiac arrest while playing squash with his friend of 40 years, Clive Fletcher.  

Fortunately, Clive new how to do CPR and immediately started helping his friend until the staff at the Bert Williams Leisure Centre in Bilston took over and used the defibrillator they have at the centre on John. 

Two ambulance crews, a paramedic officer and Aidan on the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were all sent to the scene. 

The incident was shown on Episode two of the programme which went out on Monday evening. 

Off the back of the programme, John’s daughter Georgia posted a picture on her Instagram account of her and John along with his son Chris and wife Di, thanking everyone for saving her Dad’s life.

She said: “Thank God he was somewhere that had access to a defib otherwise it could’ve been a completely different story! 

“We are so grateful that he is here to tell the tale.  The chances of survival for an out of hospital cardiac arrest is less than 1 in 10 so he is so so lucky. 

“A massive thank you to Clive, the leisure centre staff, the team from WMAS and Midlands Air Ambulance along with the staff at New Cross Hospital for looking after him through his surgery, where he had four stents fitted! 

“When we watched the programme it was hard viewing but it was a lovely touch to see CCP Aidan thank the leisure centre staff as they took Dad to the ambulance.  Really lovely.” 

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Nick Henry, said: “Aidan was absolutely right; the quick reaction of Clive and the leisure centre staff absolutely saved John’s life.

“For every minute after a cardiac arrest where no-one is doing CPR, the person’s chance of survival drops by 10%!  It is therefore absolutely vital that someone starts CPR as soon as possible. 

“Equally, having the defib close at hand will make a massive difference too.  It’s one of the reasons we want to see numbers of publicly accessible defibs rise as much as possible.

“John is now getting to spend time with his family because some started CPR quickly and a defib was close at hand.  Think how many more lives could be saved if everyone knew CPR and there were many more publicly accessible defibs around our villages, towns and cities.”

Ambulance: Code Red is aired on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday evenings.

Take Off for Ambulance: Code Red on Channel 5

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 27th August 2020 – 2.10pm.

They go to some of the most serious and time critical cases in the West Midlands and now you can see how they work with ambulance crews to save lives.

On Monday evening at 9.00pm on Channel 5, the critical care paramedics and doctors who work with West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance will be featured in a brand new series called ‘Ambulance: Code Red’.

Filmed before the corona virus pandemic, the series follows the staff as they support the ambulance crews at the scene.  It looks at the critical care paramedics who operate on a car during the day and then the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic team who fly on the Midlands Air Ambulance based at RAF Cosford during the day and operate on a rapid response vehicle at night.

In the first episode, the teams work to treat a man who suffered a fit and went into cardiac arrest; a child who has been knocked over by a car; a woman who has been thrown from her horse onto a concrete path; an elderly woman who has fallen over in her home badly breaking her ankle; and a car that somersaulted and collided with a lamppost.

West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This programme gives a real insight into the support that our CCPs and doctors can give to our ambulance crews who are dealing with some of the most complex patients.

“It demonstrates how they work with the crews on scene to use their enhanced skills to benefit patients.  Without the work of the staff on scene, the teams wouldn’t be able to use those skills, so it really is all about working together.

“The teams provide critical care at the scene that save lives, brains and limbs, including pre-hospital surgery and pre-hospital anaesthesia.”

Critical Care Paramedic Tom Waters, who is featured throughout the series added: “It’s a really challenging role but really rewarding.  We work with the staff in our control rooms to make sure patients get to the specialist care they need for example major trauma centres and cardiac care units, often bypassing the local hospital.

“Our role is very much to work alongside ambulance crews, not take over from them.  By working with them, we are able to ensure patients get the best are possible.”

Ian Roberts, Air Operations Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Ambulance Code Red shows a unique insight into the work of a critical care team within the Midlands.

“The pre-hospital doctors and critical care paramedics on-board the helicopters and critical care cars bring specialist skills, advanced medicines and procedures to an incident scene and work together with colleagues in the ambulance service to give the patients the very best chance of recovery and survival.”

Notes to Editors:

About Midlands Air Ambulance Charity:
COVID-19: During the continuing coronavirus pandemic, we have been working with the regional NHS community, including West Midlands Ambulance Service, providing clinical resource and specialist medical equipment to support frontline services.

Who are we? Midlands Air Ambulance serves the largest air ambulance region in the UK. This includes the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire; representing a population in excess of six million.

What do we do? The charity responds to an average of 3,000 missions each year. We re a helicopter-led service with over 2,000 of deployments being air missions. Were also have a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles and two critical care cars. On average Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is one of the longest established and busiest air ambulance operators in the UK.

Our lifesaving service: The three air ambulance helicopters are based at Cosford airbase, near Shifnal Shropshire (covering Shropshire and the West Midlands), Tatenhill airbase, near Burton-on-Trent Staffordshire (covering Staffordshire and the West Midlands), and Strensham Services on the M5 in Worcestershire (covering Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire).The charity’s three aircraft each carry a crew comprising a pilot, two paramedics or flight doctors plus full life-support medical equipment. The two critical care cars are based in Oldbury, West Midlands (serving the Birmingham and Black Country areas) and the charity’s Worcestershire airbase at Strensham. The charity’s cars each have one critical care paramedic on-board with full life-support medical equipment.

The Golden Hour: If a patient receives definitive care within 60 minutes of injury, their chances of survival are dramatically increased. All areas of the region are accessible in 19 minutes and 90% of the region is accessible within eight minutes.

The cost: Each year it costs in excess of £10 million just to keep the three charity helicopters operational. Each air ambulance mission costs £2,500 on average and each critical care car mission costs £224, which is entirely funded by the generosity of the general public and local businesses
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Stoke Hub kick off in style

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 13th August 2020 – 10.00am.

With football well and truly back, the West Midlands Ambulance Service team from Stoke Hub are set to take part in a new emergency services football league at a new stadium and in new kit.

The team will be playing their fixtures at the Emerys Stadium in Smallthorne, which is also the home of Stoke City Ladies FC.

Although the coronavirus pandemic put training on hold for a few weeks, the squad, which has been playing together for over 10 years, is stronger than it has ever been.

This year, they are delighted to be playing at a new ground.  Jonathan Goodwin, general manager of Emerys, said: “We like to support local people – especially those who are making a difference and supporting others in the community.”

As well as the support of a new ground, the team will be starting their season in a new strip, sponsored by Stafford based inflatable and aerial marketing company Bloon.

WMAS Stoke FC Manager, Paramedic Matt Harrison, said: “We’re very grateful to Mick Clewes, who is Chair of the ground, for his support. I met Mick when a colleague supported him through a medical emergency and he offered the club’s services for our home ground.

“Emerys sponsorship, along with that from our kit sponsor Bloon will give us an identity this year, making us feel part of a team as well as taking us to a higher level with our fundraising support for the community.”

Over the last ten years, the team has raised over £50,000 for charity including raising money in memory of midwife Samantha Eastwood and Phil Nadine who was a staff nurse in A & E at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Matt added: “The team gives staff at Stoke Hub the chance to socialise and focus on something outside of work, with the importance of fitness as well.

“Training has been going well ahead of our first match on 1st September.”

WMAS Stoke

Pictured from left to right Andy Thyes, Mick Clewes, Jonathan Goodwin, Matt Harrison and Martin Wilshaw.

You can follow WMAS FC Stoke on their facebook page (@WMAS_fc_stoke), on twitter (@wmasfcstoke) and Instagram (@wmas_fc_stoke)

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Three hurt after serious crash

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 12th August 2020 – 8.55am.

Three people have been taken to hospital, two to a major trauma centre, after a serious crash involving two cars and a lorry.

The incident happened at about 5.50pm on the A4440, Parsonage Way in the Warndon area of Worcester.

Three ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Strensham, both with doctors on board were sent to the scene.  A non-emergency patient transport service ambulance crew that came across the incident also assisted at the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found two cars with significant damage and a lorry further down the road.

“There were two people trapped in the first car.  The woman driver was rapidly extricated and given advanced trauma care at the scene before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with serious injuries.  The doctor and critical care paramedic from the Strensham aircraft travelled with the patient.

“The man in the front passenger seat also had to be extricated.  He was taken by ambulance to the same hospital as a precaution due to the serious nature of the crash.  His injuries were less serious.

“The man driving the second car had managed to get out himself.  He was assessed at the scene for potentially serious injuries.  He was taken by ambulance to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“The lorry driver was not injured.”

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2 x MAA helicopters

(Air Ambulances is a library picture)

PTS manager picks up national award

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 12th August 2020 – 6.00am.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service Patient Transport Service (PTS) Manager has picked up a national award which recognises his ‘exceptional’ dedication to the job.

Azad Ali, who is Operations Manager on the Black Country non-emergency contract was awarded in the ‘Exceptional Manager’ category.

He was due to have been presented with the award at an event which takes place during the national Ambulance Leadership Forum, but sadly, the event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) plays a key role in getting patients to and from their out-patient appointments and takes many more people home from hospital after a stay. Across the contracts we run, staff in PTS carry out about one million journeys each year.

The Trust has contracts in Birmingham, Black Country Partnership, Coventry and Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and West Birmingham and. throughout Cheshire and the Wirral.

The Trust employs nearly 900 PTS staff using more than 350 vehicles to get patients to and from their hospital appointments throughout the region and beyond, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Azad was nominated by Non-Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Michelle Brotherton.  His citation read: “Azad has spent 11 years working in patient transport services (PTS) initially as a call taker before training as a controller.  Not content with that, in his spare time he trained as a patient carer    working PTS ambulance shifts.

“His patient facing skills, calm and assured   personality on the phone and an ability to juggle multiple competing priorities, led to promotion as discharge supervisor before becoming Worcestershire Operations Manager helping the contract to consistently exceed performance targets.

“Understanding both sides of the job means he is well suited to working with staff to solve challenges.

“As PTS ‘flu lead’, the Worcestershire Contract achieved the highest vaccination rate in the Trust in 2018-19.

“An integral part of the management team, he played a key role in improving the CQC rating for PTS services to Good.

“He thinks ‘patients first’ in everything he does; is liked by staff; while his passion for the job constantly shines through.

“I couldn’t be happier that his qualities have been recognised nationally.”

Azad added: “I am really pleased to have received this award and am grateful to have had my hard work recognised.

“Over the years I have received excellent support from senior managers and equally have a fantastic management team working for and with me.

“It is a pleasure to be part of WMAS and I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given.”

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Azad Ali

Car seats do their job protecting youngsters

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 5th August 2020 – 5.40pm.

Ambulance staff say that the good quality child seats undoubtedly saved two young children from potentially serious injuries when the cart hey were in was involved in a serious RTC.

The car, which was in a collision with an HGV, rolled over completely landing back on its wheels against the central reservation.

The incident happened on the northbound carriageway of the M42 between Junction six and seven, at just after 4.00pm. An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived they saw a car that had suffered significant damage.

“Thankfully, the safety systems had done their job and the woman and two young girls were largely uninjured.

“After being assessed at the scene, they were taken to Heartlands Hospital as a precaution.

“The ambulance staff at the scene, said that the good quality car seats that the children had been in gave the youngsters excellent protection during the crash.”

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Pedestrian seriously injured

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 5th August 2020 – 1.10pm.

A child has suffered serious injuries after a collision with a vehicle on the M5 motorway.

The incident happened at around 11.20am this morning (Wednesday) between junction 2 and 3; shortly before junction 2

Paramedics from the Hazardous Area Response Team were quickly on scene and were backed up by an ambulance, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car, two paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford, which had a doctor on board.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman, said: “The boy was on foot at the time of the incident.

“He has suffered serious injuries. He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital; the doctor from the air ambulance travelled with the boy to hospital.

“There were no other patients.”

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Man injured after RTC which damaged building

Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 5th August 2020 – 9.15am.

One man has suffered potentially serious injuries after a two car crash which saw one of the cars collide with the wall of a building.

The incident happened near the junction of Edwards Road and High Street in Erdington at 9.50pm on Tuesday evening.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received multiple calls about the crash. Two ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When crews arrived they found one man inside one of the cars in a potentially serious condition.

“He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; the MERIT doctor travelled with the crew.

“Members of the HART team worked with firefighters to check the building to ensure no-one was trapped inside.  They confirmed there wasn’t anyone inside.

“Thankfully, there were no other casualties.”

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Two hurt after explosion on boat

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 4th August 2020 – 12.10pm.

Two people have been taken to for specialist care at the Regional Burns Centre after an explosion on board a boat in Worcestershire.

The incident happened at around 6.40pm on Monday evening on a river cruising boat near the Sandy Lane Industrial Estate in Stourport on Severn

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car and the Midlands Air Ambulances from Cosford and Stensham were sent to the scene.

A West Midland Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found the man and woman who had been on board doing exactly the right thing – they were using lukewarm water to cool the burns.

“The woman was suspected of being the slightly more serious of the two.  After assessment and treatment at the scene she was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham by ambulance.  One of the critical care paramedics from the air ambulance travelled with the crew.

“The man was also assessed and treated at the scene. He too was taken by ambulance to the same hospital, again with a critical care paramedic travelling with the ambulance crew.”

If you suffer a burn, follow this simple advice:

  • Immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – do not use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery that’s near the burnt area of skin, but don’t remove anything that’s stuck to the skin
  • Make sure the person keeps warm by using a blanket, but don’t rub against the burnt area
  • Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it
  • Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
  • If the face or eyes are burnt, sit up as much as possible, rather than lying down – this helps to reduce swelling

You can get more information about how to treat burns here.

New base will maintain ‘Gold Standard’ service for patients

Macclesfield 10

(Left to Right): Lizzie Bramwell, Nick Chafe and Luke McCarron

Murray MacGregor – Monday 3rd August 2020 – 10.55am.

Non-emergency patients in East Cheshire have received a significant boost with the opening of a brand new non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) ambulance hub.

The site in Macclesfield will house 34 West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff who will use 15 specialist vehicles to transfer hundreds of patients each week to appointments such as renal dialysis and oncology appointments.

This is the fifth operational hub opened by WMAS in Cheshire since the Trust took over running the contract in 2016.  Across the county, 170 staff operate 105 vehicles transporting 20,000 patients each year from bases in Macclesfield, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Wirral.

Senior Operations Manager for the Cheshire contract, Steve Hockenhull, said: “We are now in the second year of our latest five-year contract in Cheshire and each year we are making improvements that are benefiting patients.

The operational hub in Macclesfield is great news for patients in eastern Cheshire as it allows us to maximise our efficiency which will improve the care we can provide to patients living in this part of the county.

“We undertook a significant recruitment campaign to bring the 30 staff on board and have brought in brand new vehicles.  The opening of this hub is the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort but will really benefit patients.”

Non-emergency Services Operations Delivery Director for West Midlands Ambulance Service, Michelle Brotherton, added: “We are looking forward to continuing to provide a ‘Gold Standard’ PTS service for the next four years and hopefully beyond.

“We are exceeding all of the targets that we have been set by Commissioners such as prompt arrival, the speed of picking patients up after their appointment and the time spent on the vehicle.

“We would not have been able to achieve that without the amazing efforts of staff to ensure they do everything possible to look after their patients.

“With the current pandemic, we have had to change the way we operate to ensure we can provide the care needed while maintaining appropriate social distancing and the additional cleaning that is required to protect staff and patients.”

The site covers approximately 1.5 acres and has modular buildings situated on it to provide facilities for staff.  It is situated in Beach Lane around a mile from Macclesfield Hospital and has excellent links to Manchester where many of the patients go.

Steve added: “It proved very challenging to identify a suitable site within Eastern Cheshire to locate the new PTS operational hub.  However, after a lengthy process which started in 2019, it is extremely satisfying to finally see vehicles and staff operating from their new base.

“This hub will improve responsiveness to discharges in the eastern and northern parts of the county and will ensure a continued excellent service for renal dialysis patients in Eastern Cheshire.”

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Motorcyclist seriously injured

Murray MacGregor – Monday 20th July 2020 – 8.45am.

A motorcyclist has suffered serious injuries after a collision with a car.

The collision happened close to Kingsley Moor Filling Station on Leek Road, Kingsley Moor in Staffordshire at about 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire attended the incident.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found a car with significant damage and the rider some distance from his bike.

The rider, a middle aged man has suffered multiple serious injuries.  He received advanced care from the ambulance crews who worked with the doctor and critical care paramedic from the aircraft.

The man was taken by ambulance on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital; the doctor and critical care paramedic travelled with the patient.

“A man and a woman from the car was assessed and discharged at the scene with minor injuries.”

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Ambulance crew stabbed in Wolverhampton

Murray MacGregor – Monday 6th July 2020 – 1.35pm.

Two members of ambulance service staff have been stabbed after attending a call out to check on the welfare of a man in Wolverhampton.

The initial call came through at around 12.15pm this lunchtime to an address in Stephens Close.

Shortly after arrival, the crew used their emergency alert to say that they had been stabbed.

Three additional ambulances, two Midlands Air Ambulances and the West Midlands Care Team attended the scene along with three paramedic officers.

The two members of staff, both paramedics, have been treated at the scene by doctors and paramedics and have been taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man who was tasered by police officers at the scene has also been treated by ambulance staff.

More details will be released later.

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111 call assessor featured in NHS anniversary pictures

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.

The full selection of portraits and their stories can be found here: www.england.nhs.uk/rankin

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.

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Hang glider pilot injured after crashing

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 25th May 2020 – 2.30pm.

A man has been injured after crashing as he went to take off on a hang glider.

The incident happed on Perseverence Hill, Upper Wyche in Malvern at shortly after midday on Thursday.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car with a doctor on board were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, the crew were told that the man had fallen about 10-12 feet.

“He had suffered a number of injuries but was able to walk back to the ambulance where he was fully assessed.

“After treatment he was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”

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Outstanding performance from our apprentices

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.

Cyclist seriously injured

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.”

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Woman left trapped after 4×4 crash

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.”

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Four hurt after house fire

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.

“The fifth person was uninjured.”

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Picture courtesy of @HWfireRAllen

Reddicth Fire

Fatal motorbike crash

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 9.35am.

A motorcyclist has died after coming off his bike, despite the efforts of ambulance crews to save him.

The incident happened at the junction of Cranes Park Road and Warrington Road in the Sheldon area of Birmingham on Sunday afternoon at around 2.45pm.

Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found members of the public helping the rider who had suffered significant injuries.

“With the help of firefighters, he was immediately transferred to the ambulance for assessment and treatment.

“Despite advanced trauma care, sadly, it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

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Don’t be afraid to seek help for chest pain

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.

“Help us help you and save lives.”

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Mountain bikers in ‘trail’ of damage

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.”

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Woman who coughed on paramedic and police officers jailed

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.”

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Motorcyclist taken to major trauma centre

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.”

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Fire in Queensway tunnel

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 9.05am.

A paramedic has had to be taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation while leading people to safety after a car fire in a busy tunnel in Birmingham.

The car went on fire in the Queensway Tunnel at just after 7.00pm last night.

An ambulance from Erdington Hub was not far behind it when it happened and was caught up along with around 50 cars inside the tunnel.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The crew immediately informed control requesting the fire service and then went to check on the driver of the car who had managed to get out himself.

“They then helped escort other drivers from the tunnel so that the fire service could deal with the fire.

“A second ambulance and a paramedic officer were also sent to the scene.

“The driver of the car, a man in his 20s, was assessed at the scene but was unhurt and was discharged.

“The paramedic from the ambulance, also in his 20s, was assessed by the crew of the second ambulance and was taken to Heartlands Hospital as a precaution but was later discharged.”

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Pic courtesy of Free Radio

Queensway Tunnel

Mental Health Awareness Week – ambulance staff share their stories

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.

 

 

Testing the multi-agency response to a major incident

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.”

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Serious crash ruptures gas main

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.”

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Longford Road 2-10-19

(Picture courtesy of @foleshillfire on Twitter)

Car crashes into restaurant after collision with van

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 3rd October 2019 – 10.45am.

A man has been injured after a collision between a van and a car which left the car embedded in the front of a restaurant.

The incident happened at about 6.15am this morning at the junction of Station Street West and Foleshill Road in Coventry.

An ambulance attended the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The collision left the van with significant front-end damage.

“The driver, a man in his 30s had managed to get out of the vehicle himself.  He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire as a precaution.

“There were no patients from the car at the scene when the ambulance arrived.”

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Ambulances in the sun 2

Tree falls on man

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.”

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Woman airlifted after three car crash

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.”

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Hmed09 3

(Library picture)

Fatal crash

Murray MacGregor – Thursday 26th September 2019 – 11.20am.

A man has died after a collision between a pedestrian and a lorry.

It happened on Worcester Road near the Four Acres Caravan Park at around 7.00am this morning, Thursday.

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

On arrival, ambulance staff, they found a man who had suffered very serious injuries.

Ambulance staff carried out advanced clinical care on the pedestrian, but unfortunately it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

There were no other patients.

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ambulances 3

Damage left over 150 yards

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.”

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Chester Road (26-09-19)

Picture courtesy of @erdingtonfire

Pedalling paramedic hoping to help find a cure for leukaemia

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 .

Serious RTC in Birmingham leaves woman in a critical condition

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.

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Hospital - QEHB 3

Stoke Hub staff join Gordon’s walk

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.

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Gordon's Walk 2

The whole group who walked to remember Gordon

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.