Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 14th July 2021 – 11.30am.
NHS England has announced an additional £55-million of funding for the ambulance sector to boost staff numbers ahead of winter.
In the West Midlands, that equates to £5,686,000 of extra funding, and comes at a time when the service has never been busier.
On Monday this week, the Trust received 6,406 emergency calls in a day – that is 600 more than the previous record set last week and far busier than any New Year’s Eve, traditionally the busiest day of the year. Nineteen of the 20 busiest days ever have come in the last month.
The funding is specifically designed to increase the number of 999 call handlers; put additional crews on the road; provide additional clinical support in control rooms; extend the availability of hospital ambulance liaison officers (HALO) at the most challenged acute trusts and increase the number of emergency ambulances available for the winter.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This additional funding is very welcome when all ambulance services are under immense pressure.
“We have already started recruiting for additional call handlers and will work up other schemes that will allow us to make progress on meeting other key standards as soon as possible.
“At the start of the pandemic we were able to recruit hundreds of extra staff who played a key role in our ability to handle the rise in COVID-19 call numbers.
“We had people from all walks of life join us as call handlers; hundreds of students worked on our ambulances and helped to prepare the vehicles.
“Speaking to those staff, I don’t believe any of them would say that they weren’t proud to have helped keep our nation safe.
“Working for the NHS is a real privilege, and I would encourage anyone who wants a great career to think about joining us.”
A van driver has suffered serious injuries after an incident involving the van and two lorries.
It happened at just before 3.30am this morning (Monday) on the northbound M6 motorway between the slip roads at junction eleven.
An ambulance, two paramedic officers and the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found the van on it’s side and a lorry facing the wrong way. Ambulance staff were told that the second lorry had rear end damage.
“The van driver was rapidly extricated by ambulance and fire crews and assessed on the ambulance.
“He was treated at the scene but his condition was sufficiently serious that he was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the doctor and critical care paramedic travelling with the ambulance; medics were on standby at the hospital to receive him.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 3rd June 2021 – 11.20am.
A pedestrian has suffered potentially serious injuries after a collision with a lorry.
The incident happened on Warren Lane in Branston, Staffordshire at just before 9.00am this morning, Thursday.
An ambulance, a paramedic officer and two air ambulances (Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire and the Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance) were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Initial reports suggested that the pedestrian was in a serious condition.
“The man was quickly taken on board the ambulance where he was fully assessed by the ambulance staff on scene.
“After treatment, he was taken by road ambulance to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, a major trauma centre, with the doctor and critical care paramedic from the DLRAA aircraft travelling on board.
“The man driving the lorry was shaken but otherwise unhurt.”
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 2nd June 2021 – 6.00am.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is to roll out body cameras for all frontline emergency staff after over 1,100 were assaulted last year.
In total, 1,162 physical attacks were recorded on WMAS staff last year (2020-21), with a further 2,181 cases of verbal abuse.
The shocking figures are made even worse by the rate of increase in attacks over the last five years. Physical attacks have risen by over 60% in that period while verbal assaults have more than doubled.
Funding of almost a million pounds from NHS England has allowed the Trust to purchase 1,288 cameras which will be sufficient for each frontline ambulance crew member to wear one.
WMAS ran a pilot using 30 cameras in the autumn of 2019 which fed into the decision by NHS England to roll the cameras out across the country. In over 36,000 hours of use, there were only three activations by staff, and only one of those related to violence.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “The safety of my staff is of paramount importance to me. If they are injured, they are not available to respond to patients.
“The cameras will allow staff to record incidents where they feel at risk with any recordings being able to be given in evidence should an actual assault occur.
“Hopefully, they will never have to be used, but if they are, the evidence will hopefully increase the rate of successful prosecutions and subsequent sentencing. All too often my staff feel let down by the judicial system and this important step will help to redress that situation.”
All ambulance staff will be able to wear the cameras while they are on shift. They do not record all of the time and are instead switched on by the member of staff if patients or the public became aggressive or abusive. Once the device is recording, it will display red lights to show that it is recording.
In 2017, Paramedic Neil Vann from Coventry was knocked unconscious by a patient who he was trying to help. The man was subsequently jailed for six months, but Neil says having the camaras might have made the situation very different: “The cameras are there to protect us in case things turn nasty. I hope I never have to switch it on, but given what happened to me, it is nice to know that I have the chance to record what happened so that a court can see.
“The vast majority of people probably won’t know they are even there – they won’t be switched on in 99.9% of occasions, but they are there just in case. I feel sure that had I had a camera when I was assaulted, my assailant might have thought twice about attacking me.”
Bee Knight who is based at Shrewsbury Hub, added: “When I was attacked in May last year, I suffered a wrist injury that left me in plaster for 10 days and a brace for five weeks. That was seven weeks that I wasn’t able to help patients during the COVID-19 pandemic when we needed every member of staff available.
“Having been through that, having a camera that I could switch on would make me feel much safer. It would allow a court to see the actions of the offender and judge for themselves what happened.”
Senior Operations Manager, Graeme Jones, ran the Trust’s pilot project in 2019. He said: “The staff involved in the initial trial reported that the cameras made them feel safer and were useful in de-escalating situations where a patient or member of the public started to become aggressive; just saying that they were going to turn on the camera often calmed situations down very rapidly.
“The fact that after hundreds of shifts we hadn’t caught any footage is probably the best result we could have hoped for; clearly it is much better for people not to be hurt than for us to have to use footage as part of a prosecution.”
Prerana Isaar, Chief People Officer for the NHS, said: “Every member of our dedicated and hardworking NHS staff has the fundamental right to be safe at work and it is our priority to eliminate violence and abuse, which we will not tolerate.
“As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step towards ensuring our people feel safe too.”
Statistics showing the rise in violence against staff:
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 18th May 2021 – 12.10pm.
Thousands of ambulance staff across the West Midlands are set to start using iPads to improve the care they give to patients thanks to new funding from NHSX.
The cash which is part of a national roll-out will see the all patient facing staff receiving one of the tablets so that they can access a patient’s medical record while they are treating their patient.
While ambulance staff will always ask patients and their family about on-going medical issues, the funding from NHSX will mean staff have individual access to the patients’ care records (patient history and GP records) which could potentially help save their life.
In addition, the technology will allow the staff to better support care as well as increase the level of video conferencing with other healthcare professionals so that patients can be kept away from A&E unless it is absolutely necessary. If taking a patient to hospital, the clinicians in A&E will be able to see real time updates on patients being bought and patient detail handovers will occur digitally.
The project which has been piloted in other areas of the country has already shown that access to the additional information and NHS systems improved decision making and ultimately care given.
WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh, said: “We have been using tablets and an electronic patient record for the last five years, but these iPads will take this to the next level with access to information that staff at the scene of an incident have not previously had access to.
“Already my staff access care records in about 60% of cases but the personal issue iPads means that it will be even easier for the crew to see the patient’s history. This will allow staff to provide better care such as diverting more patients directly to where they may be getting ongoing specialist care instead of first taking them to A&E. In many cases we expect patients to be able to remain at home with additional support coming from primary care, which we know patients will feel happier about, particularly since the pandemic started.
“There is no question that technology is already making a huge difference to our work and this investment by NHSX will only enhance that.”
WMAS People Director, Carla Beechey added: “As these iPads will be personal issue, a key benefit will also be that staff are able to access e-learning tools and online training resources for professional development. Although they will continue to have access to computers at work, many staff will prefer to complete such studying in the comfort of their own homes at a time that is right for them.
“I also see this roll out as a key development for improving the support we can provide to staff to aid their health and wellbeing. They will now be able to access our online support services at any time. Equally, it will help us to improve our internal communications and even allow individuals to complete their annual staff survey.”
NHSX is working with Trusts and Apple to ensure each device is set up to include information governance and IT security and an ongoing support package.
NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: “Ambulance crews have been at the forefront of the pandemic, routinely dealing with life and death situations and often first on scene to treat and diagnose critically ill patients.
“These devices are another tool for our highly skilled paramedics and ambulance technicians as they continue to respond to the country’s most critically ill and injured patients. It is another example of the health service innovating and harnessing technology to improve patient care as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.”
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 12th May 2021 – 6.00am.
Work has begun on a multi-million pound ambulance service hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) in Sandwell.
Leading property developer Stoford is delivering the 76,000 sq ft purpose-built hub, the largest hub of its kind in the country, which will eventually house about 350 operational ambulance staff working 24 hours a day.
Contractor McClaren Construction is now on the seven-acre site in Shidas Lane, Oldbury, and aims to complete the hub, which will also include a facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), fleet maintenance and vehicle preparation areas, the Trust’s Education and Training Academy and central stores, next spring.
It will be open in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, which kicks off in July 2022, and will be used as a staging point for the Trust’s preparations for one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Craig Cooke, WMAS Director of Strategic Operations, added: “This is an important hub for the Service not just for the Commonwealth Games but for our ongoing ability to deliver high quality care to the people of Birmingham and the Black Country.
“It will also see a major upgrade in our central stores facility, which has played such a vital role during the pandemic, but also a big step forward in facilities for our Education & Training team and the Hazardous Area Response Team.
“Talking to staff, they are excited to see the new building developed and we will be working with them to ensure it fully meets their needs.”
Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments, said: “This is a significant development for West Midlands Ambulance Service and an important national infrastructure project, so we’re pleased to have made a start on delivering the scheme, just a short time after we received planning approval.
“As a former quarry site that was undeveloped for 15 years, it is a technically challenging building project, so receiving financial support from the West Midlands Combined Authority to make it viable has been crucial in getting it ready for development.”
The development is the first of its kind for funding partner Assura, as it continues to expand the range of local healthcare infrastructure it supports for primary care networks and NHS Trusts.
Jonathan Murphy, Assura CEO, said: “This hub will provide a much-needed new base for emergency health services in the West Midlands. We are particularly proud to be playing our part in such an important piece of the health infrastructure that will sit around the Commonwealth Games, at a time when the eyes of the world will be on the region.”
WMAS serves a population of 5.6 million people and covers an area of more than 5,000 square miles, comprising Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands.
The hub will achieve the BREEAM Excellence rating and will accommodate 365 parking spaces, including ten disabled spaces and 70 ambulance spaces.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Mian picture (L-R): Craig Cooke, WMAS Director of Strategic Operations; Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments; and Jonathan Bishop, Bishop Property Consultants.
Stoford Developments is a privately owned company established in 1996 to specialise in occupier-led property solutions for business. The company is involved in a diverse range of commercial property developments across the UK. The company’s innovative approach to procurement ensures that it is highly competitive, delivering a quality product on time and on budget. For more information visit http://www.stoford.com.
Assura is a real estate investment trust and long-term property partner to more than 590 primary care buildings across the country, in which more than 500 GP practices operate and from which more than five million patients are served. The Assura Community Fund is supporting health-improving projects in the communities surrounding those buildings.
For more information please contact Jayne Howarth, senior PR account manager, Barques, 0121 233 2080 or the WMAS Press Office on 01384 246 496.
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th April 2021 – 9.10am.
Six West Midlands Ambulance Service staff from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin have been honoured for their work over the last year (2020-21) with certificates from the outgoing High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mrs Dean Harris.
The High Sheriff is a role that dates back to 943AD and was originally created to collect the King’s debts, maintain law and order and oversee public hangings!
Today the role is ceremonial, including supporting good works in the county and organisations including the emergency services.
Mrs Harris, who served from April 2020 to March 2021, has now instigated three awards each for staff at Donnington and Shrewsbury Ambulance Hubs: Mentor of the Year, Student of the Year; and Outstanding Contribution Award.
Unfortunately, the first presentations had to take place virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mrs Harris, said: “We all know it’s been an incredibly challenging year, but even aside from the complications of a pandemic, West Midlands Ambulance Service does a fantastic job. I’d like to congratulate the winners on their awards success, and I am delighted that there will now be an annual event supported by future High Sheriffs in Shropshire.”
Outstanding Contribution – Chris Phillips
Chris has worked tirelessly during the year as a Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer. The past year has seen immense pressure placed on the NHS as it responded to the global pandemic. Chris has gone above and beyond in supporting both crews and hospital staff to keep patients safe. He is passionate for patient safety and always tries to do the right thing to support staff.
Mentor of the Year – Steve O’Boyle
Steve has used his past experiences working on the Mental Health car to produce and deliver a training package for staff to help them feel more confident in dealing with a range of complex mental health issues. He has also worked hard behind the scenes to help integrate a more digital way of working into the Clinical Team Mentor team as well as the wider staff group.
Student of the Year – Katie Putwain
Katie has been consistently recognised as a very strong student paramedic from the outset. Like many others she has risen to the challenge of the global pandemic and taken on the role of Ambulance Care Assistant while the Trust responded to the pressures the NHS is under. Numerous staff have remarked that she is always a pleasure to work with.
Outstanding Contribution – Heather Coghlan
Heather is a VPO (Vehicle Preparation Operative) and is responsible for ensuring the ambulances are stocked, cleaned and made ready for each crew. This is a vital role that ensures crew are able to spend more time providing clinical care, safe in the knowledge that their ambulance is fully kitted. Since the pandemic started, Heather has been extremely flexible in changing her shifts at short notice, coming in for additional hours to help support the team and has taken on extra responsibilities. Without Heathers commitment, flexibility and hard work the Hub would not have achieved so much whilst dealing with a pandemic.
Mentor of the Year – Tom Hillidge
Tom is an extremely competent clinical team mentor, who excels at nurturing new staff and ensuring they are competent and confident in their role. He will take time to use the training facilities to educate and guide younger staff, often giving up his break time to do so. He is always happy to go the extra mile in assisting staff and has organised trauma days for clinical staff to attend to improve their clinical professional development. These days have had a high take up and colleagues have benefited from the work Tom has put in running scenario’s. Not only that, Tom organised all of these events in his own time and we are proud he is part of the team.
Student of the Year – Joe Edwards
Joe was in his 3rd year at university when the pandemic struck. As part of the Trust’s organisational plans to deal with the pandemic, all students were asked if they would be willing to work for WMAS as ambulance care assistants to ensure there were as many resources as possible to treat patients. Joe joined Shrewsbury in March 2020 and has become an integral part of the team. From being a student with no clinical responsibility to becoming part of an ambulance crew must have been nerve racking yet Joe faced his fears and has done extremely well. He has been able to consolidate his knowledge and improve his clinical and communication skills, and at such a young age (21), he should be very proud of his achievements and can look forward to a great career ahead of him.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I am delighted that the High Sheriff has instigated these annual awards, recognising the work of our staff. As Mrs Harris says, the last year has been one like no other.
“As you can see from the citations, each of these six staff have worked tirelessly to make a difference, all contributing in their own way to saving lives and providing excellent patient care to the people of Shropshire in their hour of need.
“I cannot thank Mrs Harris enough for setting these awards up as an annual event, something which will be warmly welcomed by all of our staff in the County.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 19th April 2021 – 6.00am.
Stoford Developments is set to begin work on a multi-million pound ambulance service hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) after Sandwell planners approved the scheme.
The 76,000 sq ft hub, will be the largest hub of its kind in the country and will see a significant increase in ambulance operational capability for Birmingham and the Black Country. The project, which will open in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be used as a staging point for the Trust’s preparations for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
Once fully open it will house around 350 operational ambulance staff working shifts and replaces a much smaller facility in West Bromwich. In addition, it will include a facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), as well as fleet maintenance and vehicle preparation areas, the Trust’s Education and Training Academy and central stores.
Built on derelict land off Shidas Road, Oldbury, it will achieve the BREEAM Excellence rating, which rates a building’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.
Birmingham-based Stoford Developments was appointed by WMAS to deliver the scheme following a competitive tender, with the developer putting forward proposals to build on former quarry and which had been earmarked originally for industrial units.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This is a hugely important development for not only West Midlands Ambulance Service, but also for the people of Birmingham and the Black Country. It is a significant investment that has taken over two years of work to bring together. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stoford Developments to bring this new facility online in time for the Commonwealth Games, an event that will let the world see all that is good about our country’s second city.”
Tony Nash, Director at Stoford Developments, said now the planning committee had formally given it the go ahead, he hoped work could start on site this month (April), with an estimated completion date of spring 2022.
“WMAS was looking for a strategic location in the Sandwell or Oldbury area, close to the M5, for its new facility and the land we proposed was ideally situated for its needs,” he said.
“The site has many technical challenges having remained undeveloped for 15yrs and grant funding from West Midlands Combined Authority has made the project viable.
“We’re looking forward to getting started in this national infrastructure project and delivering a facility that achieves BREEAM Excellent in design and construction.”
WMAS Director of Strategic Operations, Craig Cooke added: “At seven acres, this is a significant investment that will bring real benefit to the area. The new Hub will enable us to improve the level of care we provide to the local population. It is also good news for our staff as it will allow us to not only increase numbers, but also provide them with an excellent facility which is purpose built for their needs.
“This project also has national merit as it allows us to provide a much better base for our Hazardous Area Response Team who provide care in a wide range of specialist areas such as water rescue, hazardous substances and collapsed buildings amongst many others.
“I’m also delighted that we are investing in our Education & Training team. We currently have over 700 students working with us and providing them with even better facilities will only help to ensure that we maintain our position as being the only ambulance service with a paramedic on every vehicle.
“Over the last year our central stores team has performed magnificently ensuring frontline staff have the necessary protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new facility will continue our record of making it one of the most efficient systems in the country which will ensure our staff always have the right equipment when they need it so that they can provide excellent care to patients.”
This challenging site has been made possible with the financial support of the West Midlands Combined Authority, bringing jobs and major investment on what was a waste site in the heart of Oldbury.
WMAS serves a population of 5.6 million people and covers an area of more than 5,000 square miles, comprising Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands.
Stoford Developments has appointed McLean Construction to build the hub, which will also accommodate 365 parking spaces, including ten disabled spaces and 70 Ambulance spaces.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 15th April 2021 – 10.05am.
Two children have been taken on blue lights to the region’s paediatric major trauma centre after a two car collision that left six people hurt.
The incident happened at just before 10.00pm last night, Wednesday, on Lichfield Road, just after the canal bridge and close to the junction with Lewis Grove in Wolverhampton.
Three ambulances, two paramedic officers and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found two cars that had suffered significant damage.
“There were four people in the first car, two adults and two children. A teenage boy had suffered the most significant injuries. He was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with the doctor travelling with the crew.
“A younger boy also suffered potentially serious injuries and was taken to the same hospital with the critical care paramedic travelling with the second ambulance. The two adults in the car, a man and a woman, were assessed at the scene but had only minor injuries.
“There were two women in the other car. Both were treated for less serious injuries but were taken to New Cross Hospital for further assessment and treatment.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 8th February 2020 – 8.30am.
Two women have been taken to a major trauma centre after a single vehicle crash in the early hours of this morning (Monday).
The crash happened on the A41 outside Dovecote Bletchley Court close to the dual carriageway at around 4.10am.
Two ambulances, a paramedic office and the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a car that had rolled over but had ended up on its wheels.
“The front seat passenger was trapped so they immediately requested the fire service be responded.
“The woman was trapped for a little over half an hour while ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate her.
“The woman had suffered multiple injuries. After treatment at the scene, she was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke Uiversty Hospital where medics were awaiting her arrival.
“The driver, also a woman, had suffered less serious injuries but due to the level of damage to the car, was also taken to the same major trauma centre as a precaution.”
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
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.”
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.”
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.
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/
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Picture courtesy of West Midlands Police Force Response Unit (@ResponseWMP)
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.
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
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.”
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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
(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.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 29th June 2020 – 12.01am.
A second year medical student who trained to become a 111 Call Assessor in the West Midlands after the coronavirus pandemic struck is one of just 12 NHS staff from across the country to be featured in photographs taken by celebrity photographer, Rankin.
Jack Hannay Manikum was studying at University of Birmingham when the outbreak of Covid-19 meant his course was put on hold. Wanting to maintain his learning and do something for the NHS, he was one of 1,100 people who applied for a role as a call Assessor when West Midlands Ambulance Service appealed for more staff.
Jack was among 350 additional call assessors taken on by WMAS to ensure the service continues answer calls quickly and provide a high quality service to patients who have an urgent healthcare need or need advice.
The powerful and personal portrait of Jack was taken by Rankin in a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS. The photographer, who has previously shot the Queen, Kate Moss and the Rolling Stones, offered to take portraits of 12 people across the country who are playing a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19.
The collection, which will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London have been released to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the NHS (5th July).
Rankin said: “As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease. Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story, which to them, was just doing their job. I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.”
Jack, who hopes to resume his studies is currently working full time for the 111 service covering all of the West Midlands except Staffordshire.
He said: “It can definitely be nerve-wracking as you never know what, or from who, your next call will be. One of the most difficult calls I picked up was from a patient that had suffered a late stage miscarriage. She was extremely distressed, and I just felt like crying. But you have to be strong, so that you’re able to help. At the other end of the scale, shortly after that I answered a call from an elderly woman who wanted to know if it was okay to hang her washing out during the pandemic lockdown!
“I’m very aware that a lot of the time, I may be the first person speaking to someone who has just gone through something traumatic. A lot of our job is about asking clinical questions to get people the right type of help. Speed is of the essence, but it can definitely feel cold in the moment. Someone might be going through a severe breakdown, so you have to take your time and get on their level.
“With all of that intensity, running really helps clear my head and keeps me going. On my days off I have been doing sponsored charity runs with my medical society for NHS Charities Together. The other day we finished an eight-hour shift at the call centre and ran 26 kilometres back to the university campus! We’ve raised £23,800 so far and are now campaigning to include BAME representation in clinical teaching at Medical Schools across the country.
“It’s a massive reward when you know you’ve helped someone, especially when they thank you at the end of the call and say they’re going to pray for you. Even as doctors in training – all we want to do is help people to the best of our ability. I’m so honoured to be a part of this campaign – I just wish I hadn’t had to shave my own hair during lockdown!”
WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh, added: “I am delighted that one of our staff has been chosen to be featured in these outstanding portraits. Staff within the Trust have worked so hard over the last three months during one of the most difficult periods we have ever faced.
“Hearing their stories, like Jack’s, will give the public a unique and touching insight into the lives of the people who are battling this pandemic and saving lives.”
All portraits are being donated by Rankin to the NHS as an ongoing legacy for years to come. Advertising space to display the portraits has also been donated.
As well as Jack in his role as a 111 Call Assessor, the pictures feature: a paramedic, a pharmacist, hospital porter, district nurse, midwife, critical care nurse, GP, a cleaner, an ICU consultant, an adult psychiatrist and a chief information officer.
Murray MacGregor – Monday 22nd June 2020 – 4.55pm.
Dozens of apprentices working for West Midlands Ambulance Service are making an ‘outstanding’ contribution in the fight to provide exceptional patient care during the corona virus pandemic.
At any one time, up to 60 apprentices can be learning their trade with the Trust’s non-emergency patient transport service (PTS) working on contracts in Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham, the Black Country and Cheshire.
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Michelle Brotherton, who runs the Trust’s PTS service said: “Our apprentices have really risen to the challenge during the coronavirus outbreak. They form part of our PTS crews and have been dealing with both Covid and non-Covid patients during the pandemic, which has allowed us to provide the very highest standard of patient care.
“We see them as exactly the same as our full-time staff. Only today, six apprentices passed their course and we offered them permanent positions with the Trust. We have an excellent record of supporting our apprentices to achieve all they can.”
Gill Durkin, business development director of PTP Training, which trades as Performance Through People, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the outstanding response of our apprentices during this difficult time.
“Those working on the front line in the health service have been both extremely brave and busy at work, whilst also making the time to continue with their learning.”
Dylan Bamber is an apprentice on the WMAS Cheshire Patient Transport Service contract and is based in Warrington. Just 17, he said: “COVID-19 has made things more intense, but we’ve carried out exactly the same job as we did before.
“We have had to transfer patients who are suffering from COVID-19, and this involves wearing personal protective equipment at all times. I’ve not found it frightening, because you sign up to the job knowing you’re facing potentially fatal diseases. To be honest, I’ve worried more about the patients.”
Dylan hopes to qualify as a paramedic one day; it’s something that many apprentices have gone on to achieve in the past according to Michelle Brotherton: “An apprenticeship is a really good way of coming into the organisation. They get to experience a variety of roles whether discharges of patients from hospital or taking renal patients into their appointments; it provides a real grounding on how to talk and interact with patients.
“Dozens of our apprentices have then gone on to train further either as a paramedic or in another role within the Trust such as in our emergency operations centres taking 999 calls.
“We are always on the look out for new apprentices because we know that we get great staff who we are proud to help develop their skills which ultimately helps patients.”
Note to editors:
All apprenticeship roles with WMAS are advertised on the NHS Jobs website. You can find more also find out more information on the Trust’s website.
PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year. You can find more information on their wesbite.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 3.20pm.
A cyclist has suffered potentially life changing injuries.
The man was found on the Oldbury Ringway near to the Mecca Bingo at about 1.25pm on Monday.
Two ambulances and the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car were initially sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The critical care paramedic arrived within five minutes of the 999 call and immediately requested an air ambulance due to the serous nature of the case. The Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford was immediately sent.
“The middle-aged man had suffered serious injuries. He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken by land ambulance to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; the doctor and critical care paramedic from the aircraft travelled with the crew.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 15th June 2020 – 11.20am.
A woman was left trapped after the 4×4 she was in crashed and rolled over.
The incident happened at about 7.40pm on Sunday evening on Kingswinford Road in Dudley near Russells Hall Hospital.
An ambulance came across it shortly after it had happened and requested back up; a second ambulance, a paramedic officer and the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a Range Rover on its side with debris over an extended area.
“The front seat passenger, a woman was initially trapped within the vehicle. Working with firefighters, she was extricated before being fully assessed by the doctor on the ambulance. She was treated at the scene before being taken to Russells Hall Hospital.
“The man driving the vehicle was assessed but was uninjured and was discharged at the scene.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 15th June 2020 – 10.45am.
Four people have been taken to hospital, one in a serious condition after a fire in a house.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the semi-detached house in Lilac Close in Redditch at around 2.35am on Sunday morning.
Four ambulances, three paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team along with the MERIT Trauma doctor and critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a house that was well ablaze. One of the Trust’s paramedic Education and Training Officers was already on scene providing care.
“In total, there were five people from the property of which four were hurt.
“Two adults, a man and a woman and a teenage boy were all treated and assessed at the scene before being taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
“A teenage girl had suffered very serious injuries. After assessment, she was rapidly taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the critical care paramedic travelling with the ambulance.
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 27th May 2020 – 2.50pm
With attendances at A&E Departments across the country down by roughly 50 per cent, there are concerns that people are not getting the help they should for serious conditions such as a heart attack, which shouldn’t be confused with a cardiac arrest.
A heart attack, sometimes known as a myocardial infarction or MI, is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.
A lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscle, which could be life threatening or at least life changing with a lasting impact.
That’s why it is so important that everyone knows what the symptoms are and knows to get help as quickly as possible if you are suffering from them.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Paramedic, Rob Moore, said: “If you or a family member develop symptoms such as chest pain, this could be a heart attack and you should call 999 immediately.
“The pain might feel heavy or tight and it might spread to your arms neck or jaw. It could make you feel breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed.
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 6.10pm.
Not one but two mountain bikers have ended up in hospital after crashing on the same trail in completely separate accidents.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called twice this morning (Thursday) to the Sherbrook Trail on Cannock Chase
In the first incident at around 9.40am, the caller said that the middle aged rider went over his handlebars after his bike came to a sudden stop leaving him briefly unconscious.
An ambulance and a paramedic officer in a 4×4 vehicle were sent to the scene. Fortunately, the 4×4 was able to get close to where the man was.
After treatment at the scene he was taken back to the ambulance before being conveyed to Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Literally, just two minutes after finishing the first case, the paramedic officer was assigned to the second case, where again, a middle aged man had fallen whilst on the Sherbrook Trail
Another ambulance and the Hazardous Area Response Team was also sent after the call at 11.10am.
This time, the caller said that the rider had come off while going down a slope but had landed heavily. Once again the paramedic officer was able to access the rider in his 4×4 and after assessment took him to the ambulance before the rider was taken to County Hospital, Stafford.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “These were clearly very unfortunate accidents. Given the great weather, and the easing of lockdown, it is fantastic that we are all able to enjoy areas such as Cannock Chase.
“However, over the Bank Holiday, we would urge everyone to remember the need to keep socially distanced at all times and only meet up in the way the guidance sets out.
“This virus is far from over; we have to remember that hundreds of people are still dying every day. Yes, enjoy the wonderful area we live in, but please, make sure you do everything possible to reduce the risk of spreading this cruel virus.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 5.30pm.
A woman who coughed on emergency workers who were taking her to hospital has been jailed for 27 weeks.
Nicola Tilstone, 37, of no fixed address, was charged with four counts of assaulting an emergency worker after coughing on three officers and a paramedic on 9th April.
Emergency services attended King Street in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, after receiving a report of a woman staggering and banging on vehicles. Ambulance staff were assisted by police officers to take Tilstone to hospital with potential Covid-19 symptoms due to a high temperature.
Whilst in the ambulance, the 37-year-old began to cough. She was advised not to cough in the direction of staff but continued to do so purposefully.
When arriving at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Covid ward, Tilstone coughed several times including at a paramedic who was attempting to treat her.
Tilstone pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed yesterday (20th May) at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “My staff are working night and day to help people during this dreadful pandemic. We have been overwhelmed by the support and gratefulness of so many patients and their loved ones, which is why this case is so shocking.
“We all know the dangers of this virus and the thought that someone would purposefully try and infect the very people there to help her is appalling.
“I am delighted that the Court has shown everyone that such actions will not be tolerated.”
Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Tweats said: “The vast majority of people across Staffordshire have been fantastic during the lockdown period, even now as the government begins to ease restrictions. Compliance with the regulations remains important, especially if we are to continue to locally drive down infection rates.
“Unfortunately, there are a small minority that choose not to protect others and there have been several incidents where emergency services have been deliberately spat and coughed at in an attempt to infect them, or at least making emergency workers think so. Not only is this dangerous from a health protection perspective it’s also down right disgusting behaviour.
“Emergency services are on the frontline and are working to save people’s lives; often working in extremely challenging situations. Rest assured we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 21st May 2020 – 10.55am.
A motorcyclist has suffered multiple serious injuries after he was injured in a collision with a car.
It happened at the junction of Anson Road and Bentley Road North in the Willenhall area of Walsall at shortly after 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Two ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found the rider some distance from the collision. Both he bike and car had been damaged.
“The rider, a man in his 40’s had suffered multiple serious injuries. He was assessed and treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights by land ambulance to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; the doctor and critical care paramedic from the aircraft travelled with the ambulance crew.
“A woman in her 60’s who was the front seat passenger in the car was assessed at the scene but was discharged after treatment. The driver was unhurt.”
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) with the support of UK ambulance services – including West Midlands Ambulance Service – has released a video of ambulance staff discussing their experiences with their mental health.
The film – produced before the coronavirus pandemic and before social distancing – involves members of staff from ambulance services across the country: Izzy, Scott, Ricky and West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Amanda, speaking honestly and openly about their experiences.
Amanda was treated for PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder after struggling to cope with some particularly difficult cases. In the video she talks of her experiences working in our Service and the support she has received from managers and colleagues.
This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Now, more than ever, with the effects of the coronavirus on us all, a simple act of kindness – such as a conversation – could really help a person who is struggling with their mental health.
There are mental health resources for ambulance service employees, families and volunteers from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives here.
Check out the NHS Every Mind Matters resources here.