Updates from North West Ambulance Service

Jun 18, 2021 | News, Newsletter

For further information on the below please contact [email protected]

Trust welcomes consultant midwife

Dr Stephanie Heys is our first ever consultant midwife who will be working with the different maternity systems across the North West, enhancing care pathways and identifying training opportunities.

Dr Heys is a senior lecturer in midwifery at the University of Central Lancashire and still works as a midwife at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. She says: “I feel very honoured to be joining NWAS as a consultant midwife. Working closely with other healthcare colleagues and maternity units across the North West, I am looking forward to supporting the delivery of high-quality and personal care to mothers and babies across the region.

In the last year, we took 7000 maternity related 999 calls. Our staff already do a brilliant job supporting parents and looking after babies, but we know that having to call 999 when you’re expecting a baby can be a daunting experience. The consultant midwife role will allow us to look closely at how our staff are trained and how we respond to maternity-related incidents, ultimately improving care for mothers and babies in the region.”

Suicide prevention in the ambulance service

Male paramedics are 75% more likely to take their own life than any other health care professional, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

To help address this shocking issue, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England, Suzanne Rastrick, commissioned a programme of work and established an ambulance sector suicide prevention and wellbeing advisory group.

With Suzanne, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) launched three publications to prevent suicide in the ambulance workforce at the recent Ambulance Leadership Forum. The publications are available via the below links:
Working together to prevent suicide in the ambulance service: A national consensus statement for England
Prevention of suicide in the ambulance service: what we know
Working together to prevent suicide in the ambulance service: next steps

Improving our response

We are undertaking a review of our operating model with the aim to improve the service for our patients and staff. When we say operating model, we mean the mix of vehicles, skills, working practices and the way we manage demand across all parts of the service.

A range of clinical, corporate and trade union staff are working together to ensure our service is delivered based on 999 demand predictions. The review is to better understand how our existing operational model contributes to performance and the impact that alternative models could have on the overall ambulance availability.

Once we know more from this review, which will last until the end of June 2021, we can then determine how the best operating model will look, and how it will be achieved. We know from previous reviews and the COVID-19 pandemic, we do need to increase our availability of ambulance vehicles.

More emergency ambulances will allow us to get to patients more quickly, reducing the number of 999 calls waiting and ultimately improving patient care and experience.

Youth representation on our Patient and Public Panel

NHS England has awarded us a grant to help increase the youth representation on our Patient and Public Panel (PPP) and the development of a youth zone on our website, all with the aim of increasing life-saving skills within the younger generation.

Our aim is to engage with young people from an early age, so we can help to equip them with first aid skills that could help them save a life in the future. We also hope to better inform them about our service, and the appropriate use of it, to help drive down unnecessary demand on emergency resources.

Our PPP was established as a way to engage, listen and learn from representatives within the diverse communities we serve to help make positive improvements to our services, both now and in the future. This is why it is so important to ensure our young people are fully represented within the PPP.

To date, we have 150 members supporting us across the North West, surpassing our initial target for year one. To join, you must be 16 years or over, live in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and Glossop, and not be an employee of NWAS. More information about our PPP can be found here.

Outstanding work awarded

Andrea Williamson, EOC Compliance & Governance Manager, has been recognised in the Exceptional Emergency Operations Centre / Control Services Member category at this year’s Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) awards.

The awards recognise outstanding service across all ambulance trusts and Andrea was nominated for her valuable contribution to the EOC for
many years but particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrea was at the forefront of all the changes within EOC relating to COVID-19, always putting patients and her colleagues at the heart of her work. She has also played a vital role in some significant patient safety schemes.

The awards took place on 18 May 2021 when the winners from the 10 ambulance trusts in England and Welsh Ambulance Service, were announced to the online attendees. As it was a virtual event, CEO Daren Mochrie presented Andrea with her award and certificate prior to the event.

This year, Daren Mochrie was a key note speaker, sharing his thoughts around the opportunities and challenges ahead for the ambulance sector in what was his first ALF event as Chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE).

Emergency Medical Dispatcher Megan Hollingworth has won the Call-taker Collaboration Award, given by European Emergency Number Association for her essential part in an unusual call for a patient in Estonia.

Liisi, a granddaughter living in Manchester, was on a video call with her grandmother in Haapsalu (Estonia) when she started struggling to breathe and needed urgent help. Liisi called the European Emergency Number 112, which was picked up by Megan in our Broughton EOC. On hearing an English voice Liisi hung up, immediately thinking she’d called the wrong number.

Megan quickly called Liisi back to ensure everyone was safe and when informed about her grandmother’s condition, set about arranging help in Estonia. Megan liaised with Estonian emergency call-taker Birgit Krullo who organised the appropriate help. Both Megan and Birgit shared the the Call-taker Collaboration Award.

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