West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.
Murray MacGregor – Saturday 25th September – 7.00pm
An ambulance has been damaged and a patient forced to wait fo a response after an object was thrown at the emergency vehicle as it travelled on blue lights.
The ambulance, which is based at Erdington Hub, was travelling on World zends Road in Handsworth at around 8.20am this morning (Saturday) when the incident happened.
The crew made up of a paramedic and two student paramedics were forced to pull over due to the damage to the windscreen and an alternative ambulance sent to the patient, which delayed the response to a suspected stroke patient by around 10 minutes.
Fortunately, the incident was captured on the ambulance’s CCTV supystem which will be provided to West Midlands Police.
Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “It is difficult to comprehend why someone would do something like this.
“There is only one thing that an ambulance travelling on blue lights is doing and that is trying to get to a patient in need.
“Given where the damage is, I am just so glad that none of the crew were hurt. It doesn’t bear thinking about, what could have happened.
“We will work with the police to do everything possible to find the individual concerned so that they can be out before the courts.”
Murray MacGregor – Thursday 1st October 2020 – 6.00am.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has taken a major step forward in reducing its impact on the environment by launching the first fully electric emergency ambulance.
WMAS is at the forefront of developing ambulance technology along with its partner, conversion specialist, VCS of Bradford through the company’s unique construction method to ensure the ambulances are the lightest and most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world.
The next step of that development is the introduction of the first zero emissions e-Ambulance to be used on UK roads. Its development by VCS reflects emergency services operators’ desire to bring the sector in-line with the global demand for widespread zero emission transport.
VCS has used the expert capabilities available within parent company, Woodall Nicholson Group, to develop the zero emissions powertrain technology which sees the vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries sited in the underside of the ambulance floor pan in a specifically designed and compliant enclosure. The design has a low centre of gravity and is powered by a 96kW battery pack which provides a top speed of 75 mph and can achieve a range of 105-110 miles with a current recharge time of four hours. Further developments to the vehicle will be introduced to increase its capability including two hour charge time.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology and operating a modern fleet for the last ten years.
“Working with industry specialists like VCS, we have used aircraft style technology and design to create the most hi-tech and lightest ambulances in the country. This has continually reduced our impact on the environment by lowering our CO2 levels and ensured that patients receive the highest standards of safety and comfort.
“It is therefore a logical next step for us to be the first ambulance service in our country to introduce a fully electric emergency ambulance. Given Birmingham is introducing a clean air zone, this is a sensible and advantageous step forward for so many reasons.”
The first crew to try out the new vehicle were Emergency Medical Technician Abbie Whitehouse-Marks and Paramedic Hardip Brar. They say it wasn’t long before they got used to new vehicle.
Mark Kerrigan, Managing Director at VCS, said: “As the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon future, it’s important that the emergency services sector keeps pace. VCS has always been at the forefront of emergency service vehicle innovation, so we saw it as our duty to bring the pioneering electric ambulance to market.
“The vehicle launched today is a strong first step on the path to electrification and we’re confident that by working with outstanding operators, such as West Midlands Ambulance Service, we can continue to innovate and improve our zero emissions offering.”
Designed within the Lord Carter Report national specification, the e-Ambulance includes a number of design elements and features that ensure it is as versatile and usable as possible.
Tony Page, General Manager for Fleet and Facilities Management at WMAS, said: “The aerospace-type technology on board provides enhanced crash structures, which will improve safety while also enhancing the design of the saloon, which will benefit operational staff and patients alike.
“This vehicle will allow us to develop this technology rapidly so that we can develop a zero emissions fleet over the coming years.”
WMAS Director of Strategic Operations and Digital Integration, Craig Cooke, added: “This is a fully equipped ambulance that we want to use to test the technology and move us even further down the path of reducing our impact on the environment.
“This is a huge step forward for the ambulance service in this country and around the world, but because it is the first of its type we will be working with VCS to look at how we can make enhancements so that we can make future vehicles even better.”
Murray MacGregor – Sunday 6th September 2020 – 11.00am.
A large number of ambulance resources were sent to Birmingham City Centre overnight after a series of stabbing incidents.
We received multiple calls to three locations over a period of an hour and twenty minutes. The initial call was to the junction of Colmore Row / Livery Street at 12.40am, with further incident sites at Irving Street at 1.52am and Hurst Street at 2.00am.
A total of 14 ambulances were sent to the scene along with eleven paramedic officers, the Hazardous Area Response Team, four critical care teams with doctors and critical care paramedics.
A team of St John Ambulance volunteers at the SafeSpace project at the Arcadian were also involved in treating casualties and conveyed one of the patients.
Ambulance staff treated a total of seven patients:
• Five patients were taken to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Three had suffered critical injuries and sadly, a man died shortly after arrival.
• Two further patients with non life-threatening injuries were also taken to Heartlands Hospital for treatment.
An eighth patient with minor injuries did not receive ambulance treatment.
The Trust went to major incident standby with further ambulances sent to standby in the area should then have been needed. Senior officers including the Chief Executive also attended Trust Headquarters to co-ordinate the Trust response.
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Nathan Hudson, said: “This was clearly a very serious situation with a large number of patients, some with very serious injuries.
“My thoughts are with the families of those hurt, particularly of the man who tragically lost his life.
“I must pay tribute to the ambulance staff who worked so hard at the scene and en-route to hospital, to help each of the patients hurt.
“We train for incidents like this on a regular basis which meant that we were able to get a large number of ambulance resources into the scene very rapidly so that patients got the care they needed as quickly as possible.”
Murray MacGregor – Friday 10th July 2020 – 9.00am.
With calls to 999 and 111 quadrupling overnight, how can an ambulance service cope protect patients and save lives?
Over the next three weeks on Channel 4, “Paramedics: Britain’s Lifesavers” will capture the extraordinary lengths that West Midlands Ambulance Service went to, to ensure it was able to deal with the biggest challenge it has ever faced; the COVID-19 pandemic.
Filmed across three weeks, the three-part documentary series will be shown at 9.00pm on Mondays.
Cameras captured the daily decisions being made to make sure ambulances could continue to provide urgent medical care to the West Midlands.
During the height of the pandemic calls to the 999 and 111 service run by West Midlands Ambulance Service increased by 400 percent. To ease the pressure, students and volunteers stepped up to join those on the frontline and give something back to the NHS.
The programmes look at many different areas of the Trust and tell the stories of some of the staff as they deal with the enormity of the situation faced by the entire Trust.
From new call assessors, student paramedics, to staff returning to work after the call for additional staff; the command teams, education and training, they are all featured in the programmes.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Allowing Channel 4 access to WMAS enables us to show the extraordinary lengths that staff in every part of our organisation went to, to meet the challenge of coronavirus head on. I am immensely proud of the work my staff did and continue to do, every single day.
“The series shows first-hand how amazing they all are and the efforts they went to keep patients safe and save lives despite some of the most difficult conditions we have ever faced.
“I am immensely proud of the way every single person within the Trust played a vital role in our response and how those efforts saved lives every single day.”
The programme was made by Dragonfly Film & TV. Series Editor, Pete Wallis-Tayler, said: “We would like to thank all of the incredible staff who were filmed and those who have kindly allowed us to tell their stories.
“This series gives those at home the chance to understand more about the excellent work that went on behind the scenes to respond to the global pandemic.”
Fozia Khan, Commissioning Editor Channel 4 said: “We are very grateful to West Midlands Ambulance Service for giving us this privileged access to document their incredible work and show our viewers the reality of their jobs at this most challenging of times.”
Earlier today, two of our staff were stabbed by a man who they had gone to help. Thankfully, our colleagues at West Midlands Police were able to taser the man and save the crew from more serious injury.
The two, a man and a woman are receiving treatment in hospital for their injuries. A 52 year old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of wounding.
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Nathan Hudson, said: “The situation might have been very different had it not been for the quick action of police officers.”
Mr Hudson paid tributes to the ambulance staff who treated their two colleagues who’d been stabbed.
He said: “There can be nothing worse than going to help people you know who’ve been seriously hurt. Throughout, they acted impeccably.”
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 6th May 2020 – 9.45am.
On Friday, staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service will be stopping to pay their respects to all those who helped achieve Victory in Europe, 75 years ago.
Where possible, staff on the road, in our control rooms and the many other roles in the Service, will join the nation in falling silent for two minutes at 11am.
However, the Trust is also urging the public to celebrate this important anniversary, but in a way that doesn’t risk increasing the transmission of Corona Virus, which ultimately could lead to more lives being lost.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We all owe a huge debt to the brave men and women that helped shape the country we now live in.
“However, we all now face our own challenge in beating Corona Virus. Our staff will be celebrating VE75 at work and in their homes, but while we are remembering the heroes of the Second World War, it is vitally important that we all continue to practise social distancing and abide by the guidelines around gatherings.”
Trust Medical Director, Dr Alison Walker, said: “There is no question that people following the advice to “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” has done a great job in flattening the curve and getting us over the initial peak of Covid-19 infections.
“But sadly, several hundred people are still dying every single day from this dreadful virus. Each time I go to work I see the devastating effect these deaths have on the patient’s friends and family.
“There are thousands of new cases in England each day; we are nowhere near done with this pandemic. We therefore need to keep up the great work even though it’s difficult for such long periods.
“The risk of easing off too soon is that we will see a second wave of cases and sadly, more deaths.
“Thank you so much for staying at home, it will save lives and protect our amazing NHS, social care staff and other essential workers across the West Midlands and beyond.”
Mr Marsh added: “As a Trust we are proud to have many former and serving military staff working with us. Over 3% of our workforce belong to the military family with many still playing an active part in the likes of the Reserves.
“We absolutely recognise that our ethos is very similar to that of the armed forces with a similar type of camaraderie. We would welcome anyone who thinks switching to the ambulance service could be the right move for them.”
For those looking at ways to celebrate VE75 at home, there are tips from the Government here and Royal British Legion also have information on their website; both set out how to celebrate safely at home and pay tribute to the heroes of the Second World War.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is doing everything it can to keep staff safe and protect the people of the West Midlands during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our staff have some of the best protective equipment available including powered respirators. It does mean that if you do call 999, our front-line ambulance staff may arrive wearing protective equipment, so please don’t be alarmed, it’s for everyone’s safety.
As an ambulance service, all of our staff are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide the best care and save as many lives as possible.
There is lots of misinformation doing the rounds about coronavirus, so it’s really important that you get your information from a trusted source. Keep up-to-date by visiting the coronavirus pages on the NHS website.
This morning, paramedic Rob Moore spoke to BBC Radio WM Breakfast and talked about life on the frontline.
Murray MacGregor – Monday 30th March 2020 – 5.20pmm.
At a time when the country is pulling together to tackle the Corona Virus outbreak, your ambulance service is putting out an appeal to registered paramedics who live in the region to re-join West Midlands Ambulance Service to help treat the increasing numbers of patients.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has already significantly increased its capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients, but we want to go further still to ensure we can provide care to patients in their hour of need and save as many lives as possible.
As a result, we are looking for any paramedics who retired within the last two years or are working in the private sector for the likes of events medical companies who would like to come back into the NHS family to get in touch. We have also had former members of staff contact us who went on a career break to look after children, offering to come back, which we welcome.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Over the last couple of years, we know that several hundred staff have retired from our service after giving many years of outstanding care to the public.
“We would like those paramedics to consider returning to WMAS so that we can increase the quality and amount of care that we can provide the public in these challenging times.
“Equally, we have already had a number of paramedics who normally provide medical cover at events such as horse racing come to us to offer their services, for which we are very grateful.
“We want to boost the number of paramedics we have available as much as possible, so re-employing former paramedics and those who work in the private sector who would like to join us makes sense.
Across our country we have seen how much we are all pulling together, from the astonishing scene last Thursday during ‘the big clap’ through to the amazing generosity of companies and individuals towards our staff; now we want to go one step further by increasing the number of paramedics to boost our ability to care for patients even further.
“For those who have retired; I know how much the time you spent with us meant to you; many of you have told me that when we have spoken. I wouldn’t ask you to re-join if I didn’t think it was the right thing for the public of the West Midlands and our country.”
Those who would like to join the Service either on a short term or long term basis are invited to apply via NHS Jobs and look out for Job Reference: 217-VN488-19-20
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 25th March 2020 – 9.00am.
In just three days, over 1,000 people applied to become a lifesaver in the West Midlands. Together with hundreds of students, West Midlands Ambulance Service is enacting unprecedented plans to protect the public and save lives.
In these extraordinary times that face our country, we have put extensive plans that will see a substantial increase in staff numbers and upskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they can help the public.
Over recent weeks, we have increased the number of call assessors in both our 999 and 111 control rooms, but last weekend we asked for applications to increase that number further. In just 72 hours, over 1,000 people had applied.
We are now fast tracking those applications with dozens of interviews held yesterday with more taking place on Friday.
In addition, the Trust has been working with our local university partners (Staffordshire, Coventry, Worcester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City) to recruit around 200 third year paramedic students.
These are students who are just weeks away from qualifying and have spent thousands of hours on our ambulances, working with our staff, treating patients. They are very well trained and experienced already.
All of them will work with fully qualified paramedics and technicians on the road. As of Monday, this has allowed us to double the number of ambulances operating from our Bromsgrove Hub, where we have gone from 20 crews a day to 40.
A further 130 Year 2 university graduate paramedics have also been taken on to work as assistants to our vehicle preparation operatives; the staff who play a vital role cleaning and re-stocking our ambulances which allows our clinical staff to spend more time treating patients. This will double our capacity at a time when this role has never been more important.
Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “We are receiving huge support from our university students who are desperate to do their part to help the nation at this time. Many are already very familiar to our staff and the response we have had from the team at Bromsgrove has been incredible with the students made to feel very welcome.
“These students would have qualified over the next few weeks as HCPC registered paramedics so are a tremendous asset for us and I have no doubt that they will help to save many lives over the coming weeks. I am incredibly proud of the students and also our staff for doing the right thing to help patients.”
Our existing staff are also playing their part. With the number of non-emergency appointments significantly reduced, 320 of our patient transport service staff have agreed to undertake additional training so that we can significantly increase our ability to transport GP patient referrals, hospital discharges and low acuity patients where appropriate using strict protocols.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We are dealing with a Global Pandemic and a National Emergency. COVID-19 presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation.
“I am committed to doing everything necessary to protect the public and save lives. Seeing the lengths that our staff are going to, to help people has never made me feel prouder to lead such an organisation.
“We have taken difficult decisions in recent weeks and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure we protect the 999 service, but it is vital that the public help us.
“The message is clear, Stay at home; Protect the NHS; Save lives. Anyone can spread the virus so:
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home
Murray MacGregor – Monday 24th February 2020 – 11.45am.
An elderly pedestrian received advanced clinical care at the scene of a serious road traffic collision last night before being taken to a major trauma centre.
The incident happened at the junction of Crankhall Lane and William Green Road in Wednesbury at just before 6.15pm on Sunday evening.
An ambulance, a paramedic office and the West Midlands Care Team, with a doctor on board, were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a man in his 70s who had suffered multiple serious injuries after he was in collision with a car.
“He received extensive treatment at the scene before he was taken on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with a police escort. En-route, the ambulance crew rendezvoused with a second BASICS doctor due to the serious nature of the injuries.
The Trust is maintaining its focus on supporting the multi-agency response to the areas affected by flooding in the West Midlands.
At the peak of the flooding on Tuesday, the Environment Agency had a total of nine Severe Flood Warnings in place (meaning a danger to life), all of which were in the West Midlands area.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “The flooding that we’ve experienced over the last few days in many parts reached record levels. We’ve been dealing with three major incidents in Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
“My staff have responded magnificently; they are prepared, trained and exercised for such major incidents. They have really stepped forward to be able to ensure our response is robust, comprehensive and above all safe and sustainable.
“Our Hazardous Area Response Team has deployed and additional flood team to the worst affected areas where they have undertaken a number of evacuations and rescues of people needing to be moved from their homes to a place of safety.
“We increased the number of 4×4 ambulances in our fleet during the winter period. They have been invaluable during this period and have been deployed and all are fully operational enabling our staff to reach patients they might otherwise struggle to reach as quickly as possible.
“I am immensely proud of everyone who has gone above and beyond to ensure we’ve delivered a collaborative and coordinated response to the areas affected. We’ve also continued to receive support from our volunteers who have been booking on additional hours in their local communities, for which I’m appreciative of too.
“The weather forecast for the coming days is for more rain which will fall onto already sodden ground. Very many staff have already volunteered to come to work to support their colleagues by cancelling rest days or annual leave during this week and into this weekend which I’m immensely grateful for.”
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Michelle Brotherton has been part of the multi-agency senior command team in West Mercia since Sunday. She said: “We continue to operate a normal 999 service, despite the floods, and have additional ambulance crews on duty in the three counties. They are supported by additional staff in our control rooms but also the vehicle preparations staff and mechanics who keep our fleet running.
“We will also continue to send ambulance resources into affected communities to ensure we are able to respond to any concerns from local residents over the coming days.
“I would like to thank the many members of the community who have helped us during the last few days. From farmers who have used their tractors to help us get through flood waters to the offers of food and drink while our staff have been at the scene of incidents. These acts of kindness and community spirit is particularly touching especially when the offers of help have been from people who were either directly affected by flooding or were on the edge of such devastating effects, yet they took time to support our staff.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 17th February 2020 – 11.45am.
A pedestrian has suffered significant injuries after he was involved in a collision with a lorry.
It happened at just before 7.00am on Kings Lane in Snitterfield near Stratford Upon Avon.
Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the aircrew from the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance who responded by car.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, the middle-aged man was trapped under the lorry. Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to free the man from under the vehicle.
“The man had suffered multiple but not life-threatening injuries. He was treated at the scene before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. The air ambulance doctor travelled with the crew.
“The lorry driver, a man in his 30s was assessed at the scene but was discharged.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 17th February 2020 – 8.20am.
Ambulance staff are continuing to work with emergency services colleagues and other partners to assist residents affected by flood water.
Residents in the Hinton Road area of Hereford are being evacuated after the risk was elevated to ‘Severe’ at around 6.00am this morning after water levels rose.
Ambulance staff are at a forward control point along with the rest centre at the Homer Road Leisure Centre and assisting with any residents who need assistance.
Earlier, ambulance staff treated two patients and assessed a further 10 after flood water rose rapidly onto a caravan park in Kempsey in Herefordshire.
Emergency Services were alerted to the flooding shortly after midnight (12:20am). The Hazardous Area Response Team, who have staff trained in water rescue was deployed along with two ambulances and a paramedic officer. Severn Area Rescue Association were also at the scene along with fire and police. A total of 22 people were rescued from the chalets at the park. The two casualties were assessed at the scene and discharged.
Assistant Chief Ambualnce Officer, Nathan Hudson, said: “All of the Trust’s 30 4×4 ambulances are available to respond to incidents along with specialist resources. The Trust remains at a high level of readiness to deal with incidents as they arise.
“It is vital that the public allow ambulance staff and the other emergency services and their partners to deal with the situation. Please help us by not putting yourself at risk by travelling unless absolutely necessary.
“If you are in an area that has historically been affected by flooding, please ensure that you are up to date with the current advice available from the Environment Agency. You can check your flood risk here.
“For drivers, please do not drive through flood waters; we have already seen numerous cases of cars becoming stranded. It takes remarkably little water to put you and your car at risk.”
Murray MacGregor – Sunday 16th February 2020 – 2.30pm.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has increased it’s state of readiness in light of the developing situation with flooding now affecting many parts of the Region.
Historic levels of rainfall over Wales overnight has resulted in water now coming towards Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, though many other parts of the region are also experiencing flooding to a greater or lesser extent. The Environment Agency has announced that there are a record number of flood warnings across England.
All of the Trust’s 30 4×4 ambulances are available to respond to incidents along with specialist resources including the Hazardous Area Response Team who have specific training in working in water.
We are working with partners including local authorities, the Police, Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency to support residents and protect the most vulnerable.
A major incident has been declared in Herefordshire as the county experiences significant and widespread flooding from rising river levels and deep surface flooding.
Herefordshire Council is opening rest centres for those affected. Please visit the Herefordshire Council website for more information and links to flood alerts and road closures.
A major incident has been declared due to the River Teme expected to reach unprecedented levels. Areas affected include Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Ironbridge and Shifnal
A major incident has been declared due to the flooding situation in Tenbury. River levels are expected to peak tonight. Evacuations are now taking place. There are severe flood warnings on the River Teme in Eardiston, Tenbury Wells and Burford.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “It is vital that the public allow the emergency services and their partners to deal with the situation. Please help us by not putting yourself at risk by travelling unless absolutely necessary.
“If you are in an area that has historically been affected by flooding, please ensure that you are up to date with the current advice available from the Environment Agency.
“For drivers, please do not drive through flood waters; we have already seen numerous cases of cars becoming stranded. It takes remarkably little water to put you and your car at risk.”
Don’t walk or drive through flood water and check your flood risk
Avoid any unnecessary travel
Please check on your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or vulnerable.
If you come across road closed signs, do not remove them and certainly do not drive past them. Remember, just 30cm of flowing water could be enough to move your car and an egg cup full of water could be enough to wreck your engine.
General driving conditions will be more challenging.
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 1st January 2020 – 8.00am.
“I believe the ambulance service is the jewel in the crown of the NHS.”
These are the words of the man who is set to take over as Chairman of West Midlands Ambulance Service as the Trust moves into a new decade.
Professor Ian Cumming is due to take up his new position on 1st April 2020 when he retires from his current role of Chief Executive of Health Education England – the education and training organisation for the NHS.
His career in the health service spans 38 years; originally training as a research scientist, before spending 25 years as an NHS Chief Executive. He has worked in hospitals, commissioning services and as Chief Executive of the NHS in the West Midlands.
Professor Cumming said: “I have had a personal interest in pre-hospital care for many years. The ambulance service meets people at a time when they are arguably at their most vulnerable.
“West Midlands Ambulance Service already has a real focus on keeping the Trust at forefront of developing patient care and I am looking forward to helping them continue that journey.
“There is no doubt that the next decade will be one of real change for the ambulance service and the NHS with the growth of technology and integration.
“It is an exciting time and I can’t wait to join at the end of March.”
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 31st December 2019 – 6.00am.
As the decade draws to a close, it also marks the beginning of the end of Sir Graham Meldrum’s time as Chairman of West Midlands Ambulance Service; he officially steps down on 31st March 2020.
Sir Graham has been in the position for almost 14 years, and during that time, has seen the ambulance service develop into the top performing Trust in the country.
WMAS is the only ambulance service rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and one of only two who are rated in segmentation one by NHS Improvement.
In addition, the Trust is the only one consistently exceeding the national performance standings, has a paramedic on every vehicle and has no frontline vehicle older than five years.
Sir Graham said: “The last decade has been an incredibly special one; seeing the Trust develop and achieve things that might not have seemed possible ten years ago.
“While the decisions taken by the Board and senior leadership have undoubtedly shaped the way the Service has developed, it could not have been achieved without the most important part of the organisation; the staff.
Sir Graham added: “To a large extent, the reason we have been so successful is the roll out of the ‘Make Ready’ system where we have 15 large hubs instead of over 80 small ambulance stations:
It has allowed us to become far more efficient which has allowed us to invest far more than we would have been able to in frontline staff and vehicles, which is ultimately what is needed to provide a high quality service:
“Whilst we are undoubtedly successful, the service will not stand still and will continue to develop long after I have left. The next decade looks like an exciting time to be within the ambulance sector:
Murray MacGregor – Monday 9th December 2019 – 4.30pm.
An elderly man has died after a two car collision at a busy junction.
The incident happened at about 1.30pm at the junction of the B4455 Fosse Way and the A5 at Copston Magna on the Leicestershire / Warwickshire border.
Both East and West Midlands Ambulance Services received 999 calls about the crash with both services sending ambulances to the scene; the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance also attended.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found other motorists trying to assist the elderly man.
“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of all those at the scene, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed deceased at the scene.
A woman in her 30s in the other vehicle was treated by ambulance crews for non life-threatening injuries. She was taken by a West Midlands Ambulance crew to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 19th November 2019 – 10.00am.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is delighted to announce that it has appointed a highly respected NHS Leader as the new Chair of the Trust.
Professor Ian Cumming OBE will join the Service, the only Ambulance Trust rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, when he leaves his current role as Chief Executive of Health Education England, the education and training organisation for the NHS, at the end of March 2020. He will also take up a new role as Professor of Global Healthcare Workforce and Strategy at Keele University.
Prof. Cumming said: “After 38 years in the NHS, including 25 years as an NHS Chief Executive, I feel that the time is right to pursue new goals. The opportunity to remain in the NHS while also taking up an academic role is the perfect opportunity for my next career step.
“I have had a personal interest in pre-hospital care from many years and well remember meeting WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh in 2009 to talk about how we could improve care at a time when patients are arguably at their most vulnerable. What is notable is that WMAS has delivered on all of those discussions including developing their staff so that there is a paramedic on every ambulance; having a modern fleet; and the introduction of ‘Make Ready’ hubs to improve efficiency.
“WMAS already has a real focus on keeping the Trust at forefront of developing patient care and I am looking forward to helping them continue that journey. As we move towards more care at home, I want to focus with the team at WMAS on how we can build on the integration of 111, but also increase the care that is provided at a time of need.
“As someone who lives within the West Midlands, I am excited at the prospect of becoming a part of a high performing organisation that is innovative and leads the way in so many areas of development whilst continuing to provide a very high level of service to patients.”
Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of WMAS said “I am delighted our Governors have appointed Ian to succeed Sir Graham Meldrum as our Chairman. Ian has worked closely with WMAS over the last 11 years both as Chief Executive of NHS West Midlands and then more recently in his role at HEE and brings with him a wealth of knowledge about NHS organisations and the development of the most important part of our organisation – our staff.
“Prof. Cumming has been hugely supportive to WMAS in recent years on projects such as upskilling our workforce so that we became and remain the only ambulance service to have a paramedic on every vehicle.
“He has also been very supportive of our move to become the first University Ambulance Service in the country and in the setting up of the National Ambulance Academy and National Improvement Faculty, all of which champion the development of ambulance services and our staff.
“I would also like to pay tribute to our current Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, who has played a pivotal role in the Trust’s development for more than a decade. His leadership has brought huge benefits to the organisation, our staff, and the patients we serve. In particular his tireless work in the field of diversity and inclusion has seen us make significant progress in developing our workforce so that it truly represents the West Midlands region.”
Current Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, added: “I very much welcome the appointment of Ian Cumming by the Council of Governors. The development and wellbeing of staff is clearly something that Ian holds dearly. At a time when the NHS is under more pressure than ever before, having someone who sees such issues as central to the organisation can only be good news.
“It has been an absolute privilege to lead this organisation over nearly 14 years; the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of the staff here is exemplary. I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of our staff over that time and each time I do I am left incredibly proud to be in this position.
“I am absolutely confident that Ian will continue the good work of the Board of Directors and Council of Governors to help this organisation maintain it’s position as a leader within ambulance services.”
Lead Governor, Eileen Cox, who was Chair of the appointing panel, said: “We were very impressed by the number, range of experience and backgrounds of the candidates who put themselves forward for the position of Chairman.
“As a Foundation Trust, the Governors played the leading part in the selection process and our panel was made up of both elected and staff Governors.
“In the end, our decision was unanimous. We were very impressed by the range of experience and enthusiasm Prof. Cumming had for this organisation. What came through so strongly was his wish to see staff flourish both professionally, but also personally.
“He was very clear that by looking after our staff, they will look after our patients and that will lead to better care, which at the end of the day is the driving force of everything that we do.”
Professor Cumming will take up his new role with WMAS on 1st April 2020. His appointment is for an initial period of three years.
Professor Ian Cumming Biography
Ian started his career in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist and later worked as a Research Scientist in coagulation disorders before moving into NHS Leadership in the early 1990’s.
He has held a variety of NHS general management posts including over 11 years as Chief Executive of acute hospital Trusts, followed by three years as the Chief Executive of a healthcare commissioning organisation prior to being appointed Chief Executive of the NHS in the West Midlands in 2009.
In 2012, Ian was appointed Chief Executive of Health Education England (HEE). Ian has a particular interest in the development of leadership skills in clinical staff and is an Honorary Professor of Healthcare Leadership in the Medical School at Lancaster University.
In 2003 Ian was awarded the OBE for services to the NHS and in 2010 Ian was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Ian has a special interest in sports medicine an area in which he hold an MSc. Ian became a board member of Sport England in 2016.
Outside work, Ian is a qualified level 3 swimming coach, working closely with young people to develop their swimming abilities, a keen snow skier and enjoys sailing, walking and watching rugby union.
Murray MacGregor – Wednesday 6th November 2019 – 12.01am.
Plans that will eventually see the full integration of the 999 and 111 services in the West Midlands (except Staffordshire) have taken an important step forward with the 111 service transferring to West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The change, which took place yesterday at noon, is the first step of a process that will lead to significant improvements for patient care through fully integrating NHS urgent and emergency care services.
The new service will see fewer patients being sent ambulances and lead to a reduction in the number of patients asked to attend A&E.
Instead, the new model will support more patients being cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs. This will also include more patients being provided with care over the phone by a team including GPs; advanced nurse practitioners; community mental health teams; pharmacists, dental nurses, paramedics and midwives. More calls will also be diverted to GPs (in and out of hours), urgent treatment centres and rapid response services operated in the community.
Rachael Ellis, Chief Officer for Integrated Urgent & Emergency Care, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said: “In 2016 the West Midlands launched England’s first Integrated Urgent Care Service which saw NHS 111 and urgent care providers working as one team.
“The launch of our new service is another national first as we move to fully integrate 111 and Out of Hours Services with the 999 service run by West Midlands Ambulance Service.
“Once in place, it won’t matter whether patients dial 111 for urgent care or 999 for emergency care, our patients will all receive the same quality of care with their calls answered quickly and they will have access to the right clinicians for their need.
“This integration represents a real opportunity to work as one system to care for our patients.”
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We have an outstanding track record in running complex clinical call handling operations. This expertise will allow us to bring real improvements to the 111 service for both patients and our staff.
“We will build on the good work that Care UK, the previous provider, had initiated.
“During the winter period we start to make the changes necessary to take the service to the next level. We have already taken on over 200 additional staff so that we can maintain the current service at the highest possible level. In the spring we will begin the work to properly integrate the two services.”
Jeremy Brown, WMAS Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care Director, added: “I want to pay tribute to the staff that have joined us from the existing 111 service. They have absolutely embraced our vision of making the service as easy as possible for patients and together with our existing staff are committed to taking the 111 service to the next level.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for those working in both 999 and 111 with the chance to expand their knowledge and embrace the change which will open up new opportunities to enhance their careers. I am certain that this will bring stability to the workforce and help us to develop and enhance the service for patients.”
UNISON union Regional Organiser, Chanel Camilleri-Willis, said: “We are delighted that the 111 service has returned to the NHS family. This is excellent news for both staff and patients.
“West Midlands Ambulance Service already demonstrates outstanding patient care on a daily basis and I have no doubt that they will bring that same high level of performance and patient care with the 111 service. As well as stability of employment this will provide staff with tremendous opportunities to develop and progress their careers.”
Mr Brown added: “Our main focus is to make accessing NHS services easier for patients. We recognise that sometimes patients have been unsure which service to ring – 111 or 999. Once we integrate the services it won’t matter; we will be able to deal with your concern or query whichever number you call.
“The change will also make it easier for our ambulance crews to find alternatives to taking a patient to A&E as they will have the full range of services available to them.”
Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 29th October 2019 – 9.10am.
It was a day that he will never forget; on Friday, WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Steve Wheaton received his Queens Ambulance Medal (QAM) from the Monarch herself at an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Steve, whose career spans almost 30 years, was recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List.
The Resilience and Specialist Operations Director was recognised for his dedication and distinguished service to the ambulance sector which carries the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.
Steve said: “It was a very proud day for me and my family who came to the ceremony with me. Whilst I received the award, I couldn’t have done it without the many staff who I have had the pleasure of working with in the ambulance service across our country.
“It truly was a day to remember, made even more special by the fact it was the Queen herself who presented me with the QAM. Her Majesty asked about WMAS and also how busy the ambulance service is.
“I would also like to thank the many people around the country who have sent me such lovely messages about the day and receiving the medal; it really is humbling.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Marsh, said: “I have known Steve for 15 years and, in that time, I have watched him progress and flourish within the ambulance service to become a knowledgeable and well-respected individual in his field.
“I am incredibly proud that Steve has been recognised in this way and would like to thank him for his tremendous service and for the thousands of patients he has helped along the way.”
Speaking at the time of the announcement, 45-year-old Steve said, he found his passion with the ambulance service at the tender age of ten when he became a cadet with a local volunteer ambulance service. In 1991, he went on to become a cadet with London Ambulance Service where he spent ten years progressing to become a registered Paramedic. In 2001 Steve obtained a promotion to Duty Officer at the, then Essex Ambulance Service before moving up the ranks to Station Officer, Divisional Commander and the Head of Emergency Planning.
In 2008, Steve made the move to West Midlands Ambulance Service to head up and expand the Trust’s Emergency Preparedness and Specialist Operations team where he remains today. 2013 saw Steve seconded to the role of Deputy Senior Responsible Officer at the Home Office where he was responsible for rolling out the national Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP) across all emergency services in England.
Tuesday 15th October 2019 – 12.21pm – Murray MacGregor.
“They were amazing.” The words of a wife when she met the two ambulance crews who saved her husband’s life after he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Jenny and Mark Roberts from Brierley Hill were staying with friends on a caravan site in Ombersley, Worcestershire last November.
During the afternoon, Mark started to feel unwell but then, without warning turned grey and passed out. His heart had stopped; he was in cardiac arrest.
In such circumstances every second counts. Every minute without CPR decreases chances of survival by 10%! The numbers speak for themselves:
In Norway, when a patient has a cardiac arrest outside hospital, in 73% of cases a member of the public or a family member does CPR – the survival rate is 25%. Compare that to the UK where cardiac arrest patients only get support in around 50% of cases which leads to just a 7% survival rate.
Jenny says Milind Kumar Karday, the call handler who answered, was brilliant keeping her calm and telling her what to do. She says you have to be ready because Mark had none of the classic symptoms of a cardiac arrest or heart attack; chest pains:
Two ambulance crews were immediately dispatched while Mark and Jenny’s friends performed vital CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on Mark, buying him time until the crews arrived.
Paramedics John Fryer, Lorraine McHugh, Michelle Adams and Anna Borecka were quickly on the scene, but that was just the start of the fight to save Mark.
Jenny and Mark got to meet the crews who attended to him at a meeting of the WMAS Trust Board at the end of January.
Mark and Jenny say it is difficult to put into words just how much it means to meet the people who saved Mark’s life:
Mark’s life was saved by the speedy recognition that he was in cardiac arrest and having someone there to do CPR until the ambulance staff arrived and took over.
Mark says he hadn’t ever really considered just how important the work of the ambulance service and all of the emergency service is until this happened.
Both he and Jenny now want everyone to take note of the incredible work of ambulance staff and also do their bit to help and learn basic life support.
(L-R: Anna Borecka, Michelle Adams, Mark Roberts, Jenny Roberts, Lorraine McHugh and John Fryer)
Murray MacGregor – Monday 14th October 2019 – 3.50pm.
This week, literally tens of thousands of people, mainly children, will learn how to restart a heart.
Why is that important? Because, learning CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation could turn you into a lifesaver.
When a someone suffers a cardiac arrest, not to be confused with a heart attack, they are clinically dead; their heart has stopped beating and they will not recover unless someone is prepared to start CPR quickly and a defibrillator is attached to them to reset the heart.
Restart a Heart Day, which takes place on Wednesday, was started by the Resuscitation Council and is supported by the British Heart Foundation.
This week, staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service will join volunteers across the region and the rest of the UK to train tens of thousands of children on how to do CPR.
The volunteers come from all walks of life; community first responders, local businesses, students and lecturers from some of our universities and other NHS staff. Together we will try to train as many people as possible in the life saving skill.
A cardiac arrest can happen to absolutely anyone; young or old, fit or not. That’s why knowing and being prepared to carry out CPR is so important, because the next one could affect a friend or loved one of yours; you just never know.
Here’s an example of how knowing CPR can save a life:
On 11th of November 2017, John Simpson was at home in Sutton Coldfield using an exercise bike, when he started to feel unwell. Initially he thought it was indigestion.
As the crews were treating John, his wife arrived home and was understandably shocked by what she found:
In a letter to the Trust, Mr Simpson said: “I would like to commend the actions of the two ambulance crews who attended the incident and undoubtedly saved my life. I would also like to commend to you the lady (known to me as Pam) who talked to me and kept me appraised of progress.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the actions of the crews allowed me to survive long enough to receive this life saving treatment. Their concern, tolerance and professionalism was a constant source of reassurance to both myself and my wife.”
In January 2018, just two months after his cardaic arrest John met the staff who saved his life:
Paramedic Jas Nar, said “We don’t do this job for the thanks, but meeting someone like John really does make it all worthwhile.”
Murray MacGregor – Monday 14th October 2019 – 10.58am.
West Midlands Ambulance Service received no fewer than nine calls to reports of a ‘brawl’ at a wedding at the Park Hall Ramada Hotel in Wolverhampton at 9.30 on Saturday evening.
Given the initial description of the incident and suggestions that there were numerous casualties, we sent three ambulances, a paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team to assist with triaging patients and the mental health car which has a paramedic, police officer and mental health nurse on board.
Ambulance staff rapidly assessed a large number of potential patients. In total, there were four casualties that needed further assistance.
A teenage girl who had been working at the event was treated at the scene for a medical condition and injuries sustained in the disturbance. After assessment by ambulance staff, she was taken to New Cross Hospital.
Two men in their 20s were taken to the same hospital with injuries sustained in the incident.
A man in his 40s, who had also been injured in the incident, was assessed but chose not to go to hospital against advice from the paramedic on scene.
Monday 17th June 2019 – 2.00pm – Murray MacGregor.
According to a former intelligence officer in the RAF, moving to the ambulance service would be an excellent move for just about anybody coming out of the military.
Chris Booker who is a student paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service says after trying civilian life, working for the ambulance service feels like coming home.
On Wednesday (19th June), the Trust will be holding an open day for those thinking of making the move.
HR Manager, Maria Watson, said: “Over 3% of our workforce belong to the military family either those who have previously served or those who still do in the likes of the reserves.
“We absolutely recognise that our ethos is very similar to that of the armed forces and would welcome anyone who thinks switching to the ambulance service could be the right move for them.”
The Open Day, which takes place at the National Ambulance Training Academy on Dudley Road in Brierley Hill, is open to serving military, reservists, veterans, cadet instructors and military spouses and will run from 10am – 4pm.
The day will give an insight into the recruitment process and provide advice and guidance on the assessment and interview skills.
There will be a chance to practice your literacy and numeracy skills, test your knowledge of the Highway Code and even have a go at the fitness test.
Chris says one of the things he missed after coming out of the military was the camaraderie, but the ambulance service has given him that and he’d recommend any of his colleagues past or present to follow suit:
Chris says after coming out of the RAF he took a job with the civil service but relished more to work than writing reports and sitting behind a desk and the ambulance service has given him that. He says the skills you learn in the military are an excellent fit with the ambulance service:
For more details about the open day, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 14th June 2019 – 4.15pm – Murray MacGregor.
Ahead of Father’s Day, Richard Wilford from BBC Radio WM 95.6 talked to a man who played a significant role in saving his own son’s life.
Back in January, Jason Plant had to react immediately when his son Tommy had a cardiac arrest. Working with an ambulance 999 call handler, Jason started giving CPR to Tommy, who at the time was just seven years old.
Two ambulances and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene and took over. After working on him at the scene and on the way to hospital using blue lights and sirens, Tommy was passed to the care of the paediatric teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Unbelievably, just 16 days later Tommy was discharged from hospital. Later that month, Tommy and his parents went to meet the crews who helped to save his life.
Speaking at the time, Operations Manager, Wendy Hands, said: “This was a real team effort, from the staff in the control room who provided CPR advice over the phone, the dispatchers who got the ambulances to the scene so quickly and the staff who took over from Tommy’s Dad. None of us can believe how well Tommy looks and we’re just so pleased to be able to meet him today.”
Tommy was presented with a Birmingham City shirt with Tommy 999 printed on it as a gift from the Hollymoor staff. The football club were also kind enough to donated six tickets for Tommy and his family to attend a future match.
An Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service, whose career spans 28 years, has been recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List.
Steve Wheaton, Resilience and Specialist Operations Director and one of the Trust’s Assistant Chief Ambulance Officers, has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal (QAM) recognising his dedication and distinguished service to the ambulance sector which carries the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.
Steve found his passion with the ambulance service at the tender age of ten when he became a cadet with a local volunteer ambulance service. In 1991, he went on to become a cadet with London Ambulance Service where he spent ten years progressing to become a registered Paramedic. In 2001 Steve obtained a promotion to Duty Officer at, the then, Essex Ambulance Service before moving up the ranks to Station Officer, Divisional Commander and the Head of Emergency Planning.
In 2008, Steve made the move to West Midlands Ambulance Service to head up and expand the Trust’s Emergency Preparedness and Specialist Operations team where he remains today. 2013 saw Steve seconded to the role of Deputy Senior Responsible Officer at the Home Office where he was responsible for rolling out the national Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP) across all emergency services in England.
WestMidlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Marsh, said: “I have known Steve for 15 years and, in that time, I have watched him progress and flourish within the ambulance service to become a knowledgeable and well-respected individual in his field. I am incredibly proud that Steve has been recognised in this way and would like to thank him for his tremendous service and for the thousands of patients he has helped along the way.”
Steve, aged 44, lives in the West Midlands with his wife Suzie and has three children; Liam, Chloe and Thomas. Speaking about his award, Steve, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to receive this award. It is a truly great privilege to be recognised with a QAM and it took some time for the news to sink in.
“I still very much believe that working within the emergency services and the ambulance service, in particular, is a privilege and I have never forgotten the core values instilled in me by some very influential people throughout my career in the voluntary sector, London Ambulance Service, Essex Ambulance Service and now in the West Midlands. This award is as much for them as it is for me. I feel honoured to work with some amazing people during my 28 years, many of which have become close friends.
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to not only my family for their never-ending support and understanding throughout my career, but also to my ambulance family for enabling me to do a job which is immensely rewarding.”
NOTES TO EDITORS: Please credit West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Steve Wheaton, aged 16, as a cadet at London Ambulance Service.
Thursday 21st February 2019 – 10.00am – Claire Brown.
A motorcyclist received advanced trauma care by ambulance staff following a road traffic collision in Dudley last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to reports of a collision involving a car and a motorcyclist on Stourbridge Road, Dudleyat around 10.20pm(Wednesday). Three ambulances, a paramedic officer and a MERIT trauma doctor attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived to find a motorcyclist and a car which had been involved in a collision. The motorcyclist, a man, sustained multiple serious injuries and required advanced trauma care on scene by ambulance staff before being taken by ambulance on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further trauma care.
“A young child from the car was also assessed by ambulance staff before being taken to Russells Hall Hospital for further checks.”
Thursday 3rd January 2019 – 9.15am – Murray MacGregor.
It’s a conundrum that many of our crews come across on a not irregular basis – which key safe is yours?
There is no doubt that Key Safes are great, especially for family members and carers who are visiting people who are unsteady on their feet or for a number of other reasons can’t easily come to the door.
However, as you can see in the picture, we sometimes get called to apartment complexes where our staff are faced with multiple Key Safes at the front door of the building.
If you have to call us and this is what it looks like outside your front door, please let us know which one is yours!
We understand that you probably don’t want to put a number on it, but perhaps put some other distinguishing mark on the safe so that we can quickly identify the correct one.
In a real emergency, those few seconds saved could make the difference between life and death.
Monday 22nd October 2018 – 2.50pm – Murray MacGregor.
One cyclist has died and another has been injured after an incident involving an HGV.
It happened close to the junction of the A449 and Manor Lane, Waresley to the south of Kidderminster at about 11.00am this morning (Monday).
Two ambulances, two paramedic officers and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a doctor and critical care paramedic on board, were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “A police vehicle was only seconds away after the collision had happened. In addition, an off-duty paramedic and the crew of a WMAS non-emergency patient transport vehicle all stopped to provide assistance.
“Sadly, despite all of the efforts, it was not possible to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
“The second cyclist was treated at the scene before being taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further assessment and continued treatment.
Monday 22nd October 2018 – 11.15am – Murray MacGregor.
A pedestrian has suffered potentially life-threatening injuries after a collision with a car.
It happened on Chester Road in the Castle Vale area of Birmingham at just before 9.10am this morning.
An ambulance came across the incident four minutes after the call and was backed up by a second ambulance, the Midlands Air Ambulance critical care car, a paramedic officer and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance with a doctor on board.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found a woman who had suffered very serious injuries.
“She was treated on scene by ambulance staff and the doctor before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham by land ambulance; the doctor travelled with the ambulance.
“The woman driving the car was shaken but wasn’t injured.”
Friday 19th October 2018 – 7.30pm – Murray MacGregor.
One woman has died and another has been seriously hurt after a two car collision.
It happened on the A3400 London Road, just to the south of Shipston on Stour near the cemetery at about 3.30pm on Friday afternoon.
An ambulance, two paramedic officers from West Midlands Ambulance Service, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and a rapid response vehicle from South Western Ambulance Service attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, members of the public were performing resuscitation on one of the drivers.
“Ambulance staff immediately took over and provided advanced clinical care, but sadly it was not possible to save the woman and she was confirmed dead at the scene
“The other driver, also a woman, suffered serious injuries. After being assessed and treated at the scene, she was airlifted to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.”
Wednesday 17th October 2018 – 10.38am – Murray MacGregor.
A bus driver is being praised for ensuring all of his passengers were off the vehicle after the double decker caught fire.
The incident happened at just after 9.00am this morning near the junction of Gibbet Hill Road and Kenilworth Road in Coventry, beside the University of Warwick Campus.
An ambulance and a paramedic officer were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When the driver noticed the smoke and flames coming from the engine compartment of his bus, he stopped immediately and then made sure that all the passengers were off before leaving the vehicle himself.
“Due to his swift action, he was the only casualty, suffering from smoke inhalation.
“After treatment at the scene, he was taken to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire for further monitoring.
“There seems little doubt that his actions ensured the situation was not considerably more serious.”
Wednesday 17th October 2018 – 9.55am – Murray MacGregor.
An elderly man on a mobility scooter has suffered serious injuries after a collision involving two vehicles.
The incident happened on West Way in Stafford at just after 7.10pm on Tuesday evening.
An ambulance, a paramedic officer, the MERIT Trauma Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic and a BASICS Emergency Doctor were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, ambulance staff found an elderly man who had suffered serious injuries.
“He received advanced clinical care at the scene before being taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital; both doctors and the critical care paramedic travelled with the ambulance to provide advanced clinical care en-route.
Tuesday 9th October 2018 – 9.45am – Murray MacGregor.
For over a decade, all paramedics in the West Midlands have been educated and trained at university; the Trust also undertakes world leading research with a number of universities; so it is perhaps fitting that West Midlands Ambulance Service is set to become the first ambulance University NHS Foundation Trust in the country.
In a ground breaking move, the Trust is working with the University of Wolverhampton to become the first university ambulance service. As a result, the Trust is engaging with stakeholders, patients and the public on changing the organisation’s name to West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust.
Currently the Trust works closely with four universities in the education of paramedics: University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester; Staffordshire University and Coventry University.
The Trust also undertakes a great deal of research with a range of institutions including the University of Warwick, University of Birmingham; University of Sheffield; University of Nottingham; and Swansea University as well as other health organisations.
Trust Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, said: “Our work with the universities is producing tangible benefits for the Trust, our staff and ultimately benefits our patients. We are therefore planning to introduce the title of “University” into the organisation’s name.
“The Trust works in partnership with universities to further develop education, training and research opportunities that take the ambulance sector into the future. This is an exciting development and one that allows us to articulate our position in the ambulance sector going forward.
“We have a significant role to play in the education and training of our current and future workforce, contribute to the research and evidence base to develop the paramedic profession, and extend our understanding of the urgent and emergency care needs in the pre-hospital environment.”
The cost of implementation is minimal. The Trust will not be rebranding its fleet or buildings except when they would have been replaced in any case. For example, to maintain our commitment to having no vehicle over five years old, about 20% of our ambulances are replaced each year. Only as new vehicles are brought in would the name be changed. In addition, we don’t use pre-printed headed paper, so there’s no cost for stationery.
If the outcome of the consultation is positive, the Trust will initially sign an agreement with the University of Wolverhampton which would include the permission to use the title university in the Trust name.
Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We are delighted to be working with West Midlands Ambulance Service to strengthen their links with our University and the wider university network.
“Our own work will see us significantly increase the number of graduate paramedics we are training and together we plan to establish a Research & Development Hub, clinical research, major incident planning and response research and other associated training, accreditation and development.
“In the view of our Board of Governors, this memorandum is an excellent development that recognises our close working relationship with WMAS but also the very significant work that the Trust undertakes within the university field for the benefit of staff and patients alike.”
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We now have an opportunity to formally recognise the role we play both in the education of paramedics and research activities to advance paramedic science.
“In addition, we think that the term University in our name will convey the fact that paramedics have become a graduate profession and make it more attractive as a career to a wider range of the community.
“Most importantly, it will help our patients, our local population and stakeholders to see the vital links between health, education and research which lead to better outcomes for us all.”
Trust Interim Medical Director, Dr Alison Walker added: “We already have an extensive research portfolio, participating in work that is of international significance, and we see that work developing further over time. This has included studies into the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrests; the use of pre-hospital blood products for traumatic haemorrhage; the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in a prehospital setting for patients with acute respiratory failure; and the use of GTN in patients with hyperacute stroke.
“The move to become a University Foundation Trust articulates, emphasises and recognises the work that we undertake with universities in this region and across the country and shows the ever greater focus on training and research.”
WMAS Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, Kim Nurse, said: “We have been the leading ambulance service in the development of paramedics through a university process. Our close partnerships and collaborations mean that over the last decade, literally thousands of students have undertaken placements with the Trust as they learn their profession. Currently over 700 student paramedics are being trained with more than 400 more entering full time study.”
The Trust will also look to increase its ties with each of the other West Midlands based universities that it already works with.
Under NHS England guidance, the Trust is required to check with stakeholders that the proposed new name will not conflict or be confused with the names of neighbouring NHS organisations or services, and that the proposed new name is clear and understandable. Please consider the above information and let us know your thoughts by Friday 26 October 2018.
If you are content with the proposed name change, you may wish to respond using this form of words:
I have considered the plans for renaming the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and confirm that the proposed new name is clear and understandable.
However you wish to respond, please send your comments to:
Monday 8th October 2018 – 9.15am – Murray MacGregor.
Four people have been hurt after a car left the road and ended up in a field.
The incident happened on the A49 near the Shrewsbury Golf Club at Condover at around 2.30am this morning, Monday.
A total of four ambulances, a paramedic officer and a critical care paramedic were sent to the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One man and one woman suffered potentially serious injuries. They were assessed and treated at the scene before both being taken to the major trauma centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
“Two other women were treated at the scene for their injuries before being taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for further assessment.”
Tuesday 2nd October 2018 – 8.00pm – Murray MacGregor.
Three men have been treated by ambulance service staff for stab wounds after an incident in Birmingham City Centre.
West Midlands Ambulance Service received multiple call to three different locations all in close proximity to the High Street at 5.45pm.
Three ambulances, two paramedic officers, the Midlands Air Ambulance Critical Care Car, the MERIT Trauma doctor and four other BASICS Emergency Doctors were immediately mobilised.
However, on arrival, a number of those resources were stood down as the injuries were not as serious as first thought.
The men were treated at each of the three locations. One had suffered serious injuries, the other two less serious. All three were taken to hospital.
Witnesses are asked to contact West Midlands Police via live chat at www.west-midlands.polic.uk between 8am and midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 giving log number 1842 of 2nd October.