Current research

Find out more about current research within West Midlands Ambulance Service.


Stroke can sometimes be caused by the blockage of a large blood vessel supplying the brain. When this happens, certain patients are suitable for an urgent operation – called a thrombectomy – to quickly remove the blockage, return the blood flow and avoid serious disability. SPEEDY (The specialist pre-hospital redirection for ischaemic stroke thrombectomy study) is examining whether access to thrombectomy can be sped up through direct ambulance admission to specialist centres rather than the nearest hospital. This involves ambulance crews and thrombectomy centre teams working together to recognise patients who may be suitable for treatment. Following arrival at a centre some patients will turn out to be unsuitable for thrombectomy, but all patients will still receive treatment which is appropriate for their needs. For more information, click here.


PACKMaNThe PACKMaN (Paramedic Analgesia Comparing Ketamine and MorphiNe in trauma) study will see whether ketamine, a strong painkiller already used by paramedics in other parts of the world, is better than morphine, the strong painkiller commonly used by UK paramedics. Ketamine is faster-acting and may have fewer unwanted side effects. All patients in this study will receive one of the two strong painkillers. For more information visit and


This study examines “What TRIage model is safest and most effective for the Management of 999 callers with suspected COVID-19” (TRIM). We know different ambulance services uses different models to sort out – or triage callers – and this study aims to find out which works best during a pandemic. For more information click here 


STRETCHEDThe STRategies to manage Emergency ambulance Telephone Callers with sustained High needs – an Evaluation using linked Data (STRETCHED) study is assessing how ambulance services deal with frequent service users. These are callers who phone 999 more than 5 times a month or 12 times in 3 months. Some services use case management, but we do not know whether this approach is helpful. For more information see



Currently, patients who require trauma care may be taken by ambulance to a specialist trauma hospital, bypassing their local acute hospital, meaning their care could potentially be further from their home. The Major Trauma Triage Tool Study (MATTS) is a project which aims to better identify patients who will benefit from Major Trauma Centre care. You can find out more here. You can also find out the latest about the study via Twitter by following @MATTS_Study. The study is ongoing, but early publications can be viewed by clicking on the following links: and



To further improve cardiac arrest patient care, each ambulance service provides data to the National Registry for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) each month. OHCAO then analyses this data about cardiac arrests and the patient outcomes to see if there are any trends and patterns to establish whether there are any ways to further improve the care we provide from initial bystander care and beyond.  You can find out more here.

Golden Hour


The Golden Hour trial is understanding the first 60 minutes of traumatic injury. Whilst we know, from previous studies, that there are immune system changes during the first 60 minute period after traumatic injury, this trial sees our clinicians taking blood samples at the scene of where the injury happpened. This will help us to further understand how severely injured patients respond to trauma and, potentially, help to save more lives. You can find out more here.