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Edition 1: Autumn 2008

THE NEWSLETTER FOR GREAT WESTERN Ambulance Service

F - FRont End News o - ON the spot interviews c - COmmunication u - UPdates s - STAff in GWAS

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Children in woodland rescue

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om and Ben Teague have received Commendations from Great Western Ambulance Service for helping to save the life of their seriously-ill Gran. The drama unfolded when Hilary Coldrick suffered a blackout after a suspected stroke during a family walk in Gloucestershire. While their mum used her mobile to call for help, the brothers – aged eight and four – found their way out of dense woodland walking over a mile to the main road where they waited to direct the ambulance crew to the 69-year old pensioner. John Wood, a paramedic who attended the incident, said: “The first few minutes are vital when dealing with emergencies such as strokes. The youngsters’ quick-thinking saved us vital time, and

in situations such as this, it can be the difference between life and death.” Tom and Ben’s mum, Sandra, said: “The incident came out of the blue as my mother is very fit for her age and accompanies us on regular family walks. “It wasn’t an ideal situation to send my boys to wait for the ambulance, as they are so young, but I had to stay with my ill mother and comfort her. They were very brave, remembered the route and directed the crew straight to us.” She added: “The paramedics acted in a very calm and professional manner and were a source of care and comfort to my mother and our family.” Mrs Coldrick was treated at the scene and taken to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Gloucester Royal Hospital. She made a full recovery.

From Left: Tom, Sandra, Ben, Hilary.

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 News Comment Welcome to the first edition of FOCUS, which will be published three times a year. As the ambulance service moves rapidly to become the mobile healthcare arm of the NHS (see pages 8&9), FOCUS is designed to not only keep you abreast of these changes, but to introduce you to our staff and how they deliver your services. At this exciting time we are looking to find members of the public to feed back on the services we offer. So please do fill in the form on the back page, or on our website – and do let us know if you would like to find out about becoming more involved. Tony FitzSimons GWAS Chairman

Chief Executive is moving on GWAS Chief Executive Tim Lynch is leaving the organisation to take up a new executive post at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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nnouncing his move to staff, Mr Lynch acknowledged the role of everyone in the organisation. “It has been fantastic working with you all at GWAS and I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication. Together we have achieved many successes,” he said. GWAS Chairman Tony FitzSimons said: “Tim has made a great contribution to Great Western Ambulance Service in his 2½ years as its first chief executive. He has significantly improved performance

Infection control and PTS

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WAS staff are currently all getting replacement uniforms with built in infection control in the trousers. This is the first new uniform since the merger of the three ambulance services two years ago. New infection-resistant webbing straps in ambulances and all clinical staff being issued with fob watches are further measures to reduce infection. A big thanks to all the patients and Patient Transport Services (and other) staff who have taken part in our recent photo-shoots.

across the Trust and successfully managed the complexity of merging three organisations into one. As a result we are well-placed to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.” Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, has been named as the new interim chief executive for GWAS, and he will be supported by Tamar Thompson, who joined

Bob meets the Queen

the service in July as interim Chief Operating Officer. Mr Marsh, like Tim Lynch, has spent much of his career in the ambulance service. Commenting on his new role, he said: “Great Western has come a long way over the last few months and I am

hopeful that I can help continue that progress and ensure that patients in the three counties get even better service. “I am looking forward to meeting the staff and managers across the Trust and learning what more can be done to improve patient care.”

Great Western has come a long way over the last few months and I am hopeful that I can help continue that progress and ensure that patients get even better service.

Bob Davies pictured at the GWAS long service awards.

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ob Davies, an emergency preparedness manager at GWAS, met the Queen when he was invited to a Royal Garden Party in recognition of his long service with the NHS. Bob, with responsibility for civil contingencies in Avon, has spent 41 years in health care. He was among the first batch of paramedics to be trained in 1972 while based at Almondsbury Station, where he served for 25 years. He moved into civil contingencies and has been involved in dealing with major incidents such

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as a coach crash on the M4 when 10 elderly people died in 1995. Mr Davies said: “Civil contingency planning has changed significantly in recent years, especially with 9/11 and 7/7. Everyone has to expect the unexpected.” He continued: “I have worked alongside other

agencies such as the police, fire service and military, and seen things people wouldn’t normally have the chance to experience, such as going inside nuclear power stations.” Pictured here at the NHS 60 staff awards ceremony, Mr Davies attended the garden party at Buckingham Palace with his wife Eileen in July.


News  GWAS appoints new board member

Staff-led Annual Review heralds “new look” ambulance service

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he first annual review published by GWAS takes you on a journey with our staff, through their jobs in the ambulance service, explaining what they do. From emergency calls to patient transport and the teams behind them, the review follows the changing nature of ambulance service as it starts to evolve into the mobile healthcare arm of the NHS. Tim Lynch, Chief Executive, concludes: “Emergency care practitioners (ECPs) are helping us expand our urgent care services, offering more choice, treatment at home and support for referral. Together with our fledgling clinical desks, access to care and out of hours services, we are already successfully providing more choice and more

The Report reveals that GWAS attended 216,810 emergency/urgent calls during 2007/08 and ended the year with a surplus of £1.45m which enabled the service to pay off the debt of its predecessor organisations. The report is available for the public to read in libraries, hospitals, local authorities and primary care trusts across the GWAS catchment area, online at: http://www.gwas.nhs. uk/policies/GWAS Annual review 20072008.pdf. If you would like a copy please contact PALS. Details on the back of FOCUS.

Call Connect

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all Connect is a new government target to arrive more quickly with our patients.

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appropriate routes to care than admission to hospital.”

– our local target is to arrive at 95% of these in 60 minutes.

have a national target to arrive at 75% of calls in 8 minutes

Great Western Ambulance Service prioritises calls into:

• Category B, urgent but not life-threatening – we have a national target to respond to 95% of these in 19 minutes

• Category A, immediately life threatening – we

• Category C, non-urgent, non life-threatening

From 1 April 2008 the national response time targets start from the moment the call hits the call centre. This is known as “Call Connect”. Previously the timing started once the call handler had the address, telephone number and

These were our response times at the end of August 2008: Category % Calls on target A 72% B 86%

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erard Barclay has joined the board of GWAS NHS Trust as a nonexecutive director. He began serving on 1 July this year and his term runs until 30 June, 2011. With a comprehensive background and a successful track record in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Gerard Barclay will bring experience and independent judgement on strategy, performance and key appointments.

chief complaint of the patient. This change means that we need to cut 90 seconds from the journey time to arrive with patients. This is proving a challenging target for all ambulance services. To meet the targets we are currently making significant financial investment and redesigning how we respond to calls. We will complete these changes during 2008/09 and are constantly striving to improve our response times to get our patients to appropriate care as quickly as possible.

Mr Barclay has been appointed in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.

Patient information leaflets GWAS has launched three new patient information leaflets to be given to patients or the parents of children who have been treated by paramedics for head injuries or who have had their wounds closed. To get a copy you can contact us at the address on the back of this newsletter or download one from the website www.gwas.nhs.uk.


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Tyrone recovers from stroke 48 hours after ‘miracle drug’ treatment

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stroke patient given a rapid action ‘clotbusting drug’ has praised paramedics and doctors for their help after fully recovering in just two days. Tyrone Coates, who lives near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, suffered a stroke when he visited his son, Ian. It left the 66-year-old paralysed down the right side of his body and with difficulty speaking. Paramedics from Great Western Ambulance Service raced to the scene and carried out a face, arm and speech test which identified a likely stroke. Deciding that the pensioner may be suitable for a thrombolysis drug,

FOCUS – a new name We decided to ask our staff what they thought we should call our new magazine. We ran a competition in the staff newsletter. The competition winner was Shelley Phillips, a service improvement manager in our fleet operations. Her idea was FOCUS: F – Front End News O – On the spot interviews C – Communication U – Updates S – Staff in GWAS

which breaks down blood clots in the brain, they alerted Bath Royal United Hospital NHS Trust. Following a quick journey to RUH to doctors treated the pensioner with the clot-busting drug, with dramatic results. His paralysis started fading away just 15 minutes after receiving the thrombolysis injection. And within an hour Mr Coates was talking to wife Kay at his bedside at the hospital. Mr Coates returned to the hospital shortly after the incident to thank doctors and paramedics for their treatment and care. He said: “I’m very lucky, I could have been in hospital for a long time or not made a recovery. “The paramedics and doctors who treated me were excellent and the ‘miracle drug’ helped me make a full recovery. “Hopefully, I’ll continue leading a normal life. I’m a fit and active person, so it’s wonderful that I can continue walking and cycling.” Mr Coates added: “Having a stroke is a terrible thing to go through. I was aware of what was going on, but couldn’t do anything about it.”

Well done Shelley!

stroke consultant who treated Mr Coates at the hospital, said: “He was discharged less than 48 hours after admission, fully recovered. Without thrombolysis, he would have expected to spend many weeks in hospital and was likely to have been left with long-term disability. “Seeing his neurological signs disappear in front of our eyes was a powerful

experience for those of us with him at the time. “He and his family were in tears that he had had a stroke, then less than an hour later were in tears again when they realised he had recovered.” She added: “It is very important for members of the public to recognise the symptoms of a stroke and act fast. If they have a sudden onset of obvious

facial droop, weakness of one arm or difficulty speaking they should call 999.” Tim Lynch, Chief Executive of GWAS, added: “Paramedics have a key function in the delivery of the National Stroke Strategy. This is a fantastic example of joined-up working between GWAS and the RUH, to ensure patients get the best possible care.”

More about thrombolysis Early stroke diagnosis by paramedics, close liaison with hospitals’ medical teams and quick transportation of these patients mean doctors are ready to carry out brain scans and administer appropriate treatment on their arrival at Accident and Emergency departments. It is absolutely essential that the drug is administered within three hours of a stroke, to potentially prevent or reduce any long-lasting effects of the illness to patients. Thrombolysis is also used for heart attacks. It saves lives and drastically improves the quality of life by preventing heart muscle from dying. The sooner it is given, the greater the benefit to the patient. GWAS and the local hospitals have a target to thrombolyse 68% of heart attack patients within one hour of calling for help. Thrombolysis can be given on the spot by paramedics, or after arrival in hospital.

Doctor Louise Shaw, a

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News  Name

Role

Queen’s Medal

Staff clock up 1,340 years service

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taff from Great Western Ambulance Service have been honoured for their long service in a ceremony which took place at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon, at the end of June. Atended by Chief Executive Tim Lynch, Chairman Tony FitzSimons and HM Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Mr John Bush, the celebration was for staff working in any role and celebrated their contribution to the Ambulance Service. Tim Lynch congratulated the award winners on their tremendous commitment, dedication and professionalism in carrying out their duties with the Ambulance Service. He pointed out that they had seen many changes during their time in the NHS, including

improvements in patient transportation, treatment and care. The Chief Executive also praised the great loyalty of the staff, many of whom had spent all of their working lives in the ambulance service whether on the frontline, in control rooms, in administrative or management posts or providing training or other support. The Queen’s Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct was presented to staff who had 20 years’ service, of which at least seven years have been spent on the frontline.

Stephen Brown Paramedic Kevin Dickens Community First Responder Manager Tracey Gray Paramedic Caroline Hayhurst ECP Chris Honeyborne Paramedic Dominic Jackson Paramedic Samantha Jones Paramedic John Kiddley Practitioner Joanne Le Blond Paramedic Kevin Mayo Paramedic Lesley Puckey Paramedic Shaun Russell Paramedic Air Support Unit Antony Stock Paramedic Gary Strong Reperfusion Lead Steve Sugar Practitioner Steve West Director of Operations John Mark Wood Practitioner 20 years Michael Ayres Control Assistant Sheila Battin PTS Control Assistant John Bennett Ambulance Care Assistant David Bowling PTS Operational Officer Byron Brooks Information Assistant Jenny Brown Despatcher PTS Control June Carpenter Ambulance Care Assistant Steve Clements Ambulance Liaison Officer Richard Davis Ambulance Care Assistant Nicholas Earnshaw Triage Officer Nigel Fortune Clinical Practice Tutor Anthony Gerrard SDM for PTS Leonard Gittins Ambulance Care Assistant David Harris Ambulance Care Assistant Robert Ilott Risk Manager, Clinical Directorate Andy Kardynal Clinical Tutor Ann Leaver PTS Call Taker Rhona Lewis Team Leader PTS Margaret Taylor Emergency Medical Despatcher Martyn Whatmore Clinical Tutor Rebecca Wiggins Finance Assistant 30 years Stephen Arnold Service Delivery Manager Ian Bateman Emergency Care Practitioner Steve Blackmore Interim General Manager Mary Claridge Paramedic Philip Davis Paramedic Keith Giles Paramedic Bryan Hopkins PTS Car Driver Derek James Technician Neil Jones Practitioner Michael Legg Ambulance Technician - Retired Dennis Oakes Ambulance Care Assistant Brian Moss Ambulance Care Assistant Jack Prosser Operation Station Officer - Retired Dave Rawles Paramedic Stuart Shepherd Practitioner Anthony Twigg Emergency Preparedness Manager 40 Years

GWAS Long Service Awards were presented to staff with 20, 30 or 40 years’ service.

Bob Davies Jason Day Pete Lewis

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Emergency Preparedness Manager Ambulance Care Assistant (Paramedic - Retired) Urgent Care Call Taker


 Feature Emergency call out will surprise ewe! You could probably guess that air ambulances attend road traffic accidents or heart attacks – but you might have been hard pressed to come up with them attending a patient who had been head-butted by a ewe! Lisa Jacobs was transferring sheep from one field to the next when she literally got in the way of a ‘battering-ram’. A ewe ran towards her, jumped and headbutted her with its horns. She describes dreadful pain in her head and a nose

resembling “a blood tap”. A ground ambulance crew arrived quickly at the scene and called the air ambulance fearing Lisa had a fractured skull. “I am so grateful to all those who came. They were absolutely fantastic. They kept me, my bemused husband and traumatised children calm. When the air ambulance crew arrived I was transferred to the helicopter and taken to Royal United Hospital. The short, excruciatingly painful trip to where the helicopter landed, made me realise how dreadful it would have been to travel for 50 minutes in a road ambulance to Bath.

The air ambulance crew were absolutely wonderful, they kept reassuring me and held my hand as we flew. It only took about 15 minutes. Air ambulances are vital for rural areas such as Wiltshire. In the background you know they are there but you don’t really appreciate what they do until they become the most vital service in your life.” Lisa fortunately didn’t have a fractured skull and has since made a full recovery.

Air Ambulances “Absolutely fantastic” That’s the verdict of the patients who have flown in them. So it’s good news that a third air ambulance is now available in the Great Western Ambulance Service area. The new air ambulance, to complement the existing ones in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, was launched in June. It is based at Filton Airport near Bristol and provides residents in the Avon area much-needed air ambulance cover. The new air ambulance: • has a trained pool of 16 crew members – six doctors and 10 critical care paramedics – who have advanced skills in the management of critical care and trauma patients • can attend up to 130 incidents a month during the summer and

Air ambulance media launch - crew

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Feature  Stuart tours his rescuing helicopter One of the first of the new air ambulance patients is Stuart Southcott. He was attended by critical care paramedics and doctors moments an accident on his motorbike on the A38 near Almondsbury. Stuart was treated at the scene for a broken femur in his leg and a dislocated ankle. After his discharge from hospital he joined the crew at Great Western Air Ambulance to thank them and was shown around the helicopter during his visit. “The air ambulance was on the scene very quickly after my accident and the crew

up to 100 incidents a month in the winter •w  ill initially fly five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday, up to eight hours a day •w  ill extend flying time to seven days a week, up to 12 hours a day when there are sufficient donations • a ttended 62 incidents and transported 10 people to hospital in its first month of operation. The new air ambulance is being run by an

were very reassuring. I flew across the road after the impact – I was in a bad way and am lucky to be alive. This new air ambulance will help save lives and give others like myself the best possible chance of making a recovery. If it hadn’t come, I don’t know what would have happened.” Stuart is back at his home in Alveston after spending time in hospital, but will have to use a wheel-chair for at least four months and have regular physiotherapy as part of his rehabilitation to learn to walk again.

independent charity but the crews are provided by Great Western Ambulance Service. They attend emergency and serious incidents ranging from road collisions to sports injuries, and can reach patients more quickly than a road based ambulance.

Melvyn’s Trust The new air ambulance is raising funds both by donations, but also by recycling unwanted goods through the Melvyn’s Trust. Paul Weir,

Chief Executive of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, explains: “The air ambulance relies entirely on the support of the community – people can help by making a donation whether as an individual, a member of a local organisation, a school or company. People can also help by recycling unwanted clothing, shoes and mobile telephones, as this service will be relying on funds raised

Gloucestershire The future of the Air Ambulance service in Gloucestershire has been assured, following agreement on future fundraising arrangements in the county. Historically, County Air Ambulance Charity has been the provider of the helicopter medical service in Gloucestershire. However, the new Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is expected to take over the role in the next 12 months. In the meantime, the two charities have agreed to work together to raise funds in the Gloucestershire area. Paul Weir, Chief Executive of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, said: “The two charities working together in Gloucestershire for the Air Ambulance is a very sensible approach. The public can continue to pledge financial support to the Gloucestershire Air Ambulance in the knowledge that the money will be used to support both the existing service and the new Great Western Air Ambulance Charity”.

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by recycling unwanted items and exporting them to developing countries. Every penny raised will help towards the £1.3

million that will be needed in the next year to enable the service to continue flying.”

Your donations keep air ambulances flying If you would like to contribute to any of our air ambulance services or help to raise funds for them, here are the details: (Avon) Great Western Air Ambulance: Tel: 0845 8388492 Email: info@greatwesternairambulance.org.uk Website: www.greatwesternairambulance.com Address of Appeal office: 1 Hafod Road, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1 1SG. Cheques payable to: “Great Western Air Ambulance” (Wiltshire) Air Ambulance Appeal Tel: 0845 1221423 Email: info@wiltshireairambulance.co.uk Website: www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk Address of Appeal office: Jenner House, Langley Park, Chippenham, Wilts, SN15 1GG Cheques payable to: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal” (Gloucestershire) County Air Ambulance Tel: 01384 241133 Email: hq@countyairambulance.org Website: www.countyairambulance.com Address of Appeal Office: County Air Ambulance, charity HQ, Unit 16 Enterprise Ind Estate, Pedmore Road, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 1TX Cheques payable to: “County Air Ambulance”.


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The changing face of the ambulance service. The press has been full of stories about having a second emergency number. What exactly is this all about and how does that impact on the ambulance service? Our vision for GWAS is to be the first point of call for urgent advice, care, treatment and diagnosis. When we think about our service we tend to visualise emergency ambulances with blue lights rushing to the scene of an accident or life-threatening emergency.

However, only around 10% of 999 calls require life-saving intervention. In the past, the majority of the other patients have been routinely transported to hospital, even when this wasn’t actually the best option for their care or treatment.

With hospital beds constantly under pressure, it’s important to make sure that the priority is given to people who really need them. It’s much more cost effective to find the right care for the patient quickly and wherever possible to provide treatment in their

own homes rather than taking them to hospital for an inappropriate admission. It’s all about providing the Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time. The phrase – the name of a Government initiative for joined-up healthcare – pretty much

sums up the ethos of the changes. Some people do need transport to hospital, but for others there are better ways of dealing with what is troubling them. So how is the ambulance service changing to meet this need? Well, quite a

Triage clinicians Our triage clinicians are nurses, Emergency Care Practitioners or paramedics who have additional diagnostic training. They speak to patients or carers on some of the non-life threatening calls which come in through the 999 service. Once they have taken the details of the situation they can offer advice and recommend self-care; or arrange a visit at home from an emergency care practitioner, district nurse or GP. They can also refer you to a local out-of-hours GP service, or liaise with social or mental health services. If it’s the appropriate option they arrange an ambulance.

underlying mental health. We contact the mental health crisis team, or duty care team and may arrange a three-way telephone conference between us, them and the patient. The person may require immediate admission or an appointment to be seen the next day. We alert the patient’s GP via some special software, so they are aware of how often the patient has called, the nature of their distress and any arrangements made for them.”

Our triage clinicians also provide clinical and professional advice for paramedics who want additional advice, information or a referral to another service. The triage clinicians have at their finger tips a whole range of on-call contacts in other services who may be able to help. Brian Jarvis explains how the service covers everyone who calls 999, not just those with physical health problems: “Sometimes a caller with a mental health issue will ring the ambulance service. Once we have ruled out any lifethreatening illness or injury, we consider how best we can help address their

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Brian Jarvis


Feature  bit. For a start, we are looking to change and enhance the education of our paramedics to give them the confidence to deal with the changing case mix. Nationally figures show that less than 10% of calls we respond to are immediately life threatening. Paramedics can do so much more with their skills. They are the first on the scene and could easily help to diagnose, refer and even treat patients themselves. Providing them with a range of professional support to enable referral to alternative pathways is key to making sure the whole system works smoothly. Here we will look at two major changes being made

towards a more patient focused approach. They both involve enhancing the skills of our staff. The first important change is to try and ensure the right decision is made over the phone about what type of care is actually needed. To provide this change, a ‘partnership-working’ support service is vital. The second change is to utilise our staff in the community to provide on-the-spot assessment and treatment of patients. To find out more about GWAS urgent care service, visit our website or ask for a copy of our annual review. Contact details are on the back page.

Dr Jasmine Goraya, is one of twelve urgent care doctors employed by GWAS out-of-hours service in Gloucestershire.

Emergency Care Practitioners Our ‘ECPs’ as they are known in the ambulance service, are our skills we are trained to deal with closing wounds with sterinurses or paramedics with advanced clinical assessment strips, staples or stitches. Previously an Emergency Department and treatment skills. They are able to provide face-to-face admission would have been unavoidable.” assessment and on-the-spot treatment. They have access to a wider range of drugs and medications and diagnostic tests than a paramedic and can make referrals or transport patients to GP surgeries or minor injury units. They are more likely to arrive in a rapid response car than an ambulance. Their skills mean that ECPs are able to treat more patients directly without them having to go to hospital. Mark Maisey explains: “ECPs represent a new era in pre-hospital care and an exciting addition to the many core skills already gained from Paramedic experience. A great advance is our ability to give antibiotics. I attended a man who was having rigors (uncontrollable shakes due to high temperature) and gave a course of antibiotics. He could stay at home and I advised his GP of my treatment. I was able to give intravenous antibiotics to a different patient who had sepsis (blood poisoning) and arrange his direct admission to a hospital ward avoiding the Emergency Department. On the roadside I was able to come to the aid of a young motorcyclist who had been side-swiped by a car and had an injured knee. I did a joint assessment to check his knee wasn’t broken and was able to prescribe painkillers for him so he could go home and rest rather than go to hospital. Among

Mark Maisey Emergency Care Practitioner

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10 Feature In the know… • There are around 300 Community First Responders across GWAS

Community First Responder Phil Hardborn (R) with Thomas Finnigan enjoying life back on the golf course.

• Around 300 life-threatening incidents are attended each week across GWAS by people using defibrillation equipment placed in public sites or by co-responders such as fire fighters or police or by Community First Responders. • CFRs operate within a three-mile radius of their home or place of work. • The average time it takes for a CFR to arrive on scene is 2.5 minutes. • 92% of CFRs across GWAS provide life saving emergency care within 6 minutes of them calling for help. • GWAS also works with other organisations including the Fire and Rescue Services. In 2007-2008 • We placed around 120 defibrillators in the community. • We have recruited around 70 new Community First Responders. In 2008-9 • We are planning 24 new Community First Responder teams across the Trust.

Community First Phil Hardborn is a Community First Responder (CFR) living in Gloucestershire. Last month he was delighted to meet up with a fitter and healthier Thomas Finnegan at Rodway Hills Golf course. That was where they last met and when Phil saved Thomas’s life. Thomas explains: “Sean, my son, and I were out for our regular round of golf at the Rodway Hills Golf Course. We played the first three holes and then I tee’d off on the fourth and woke up in Intensive Care in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital! I’ve had a series of problems with my heart for 20 years and have had a triple bypass operation. It could have happened to me at any time, but an irregular heartbeat meant my heart just stopped

beating. My son tells me Phil Hardborn quickly arrived on the scene. He used his hands-onexperience and mobile

Two months later I was fitted with an internal defibrillator in my chest. I’m now back at work and able to do pretty

Realising that the guy I was talking to wouldn’t have been here without the immediate assistance I was able to give as a first responder, was a really good feeling. defibrillator unit to stabilise me until the ambulance arrived. Apparently it was a close-run thing, but the cardiac unit also managed to keep me alive.

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much everything, but the wonders of modern technology would have been of no use to me if it were not for the existence of the Community First

Responders who give their time unstintingly to help people they have never known or met but who are willing to respond when they get the call. On the first anniversary of my ‘incident’ I returned to play golf with Sean and meet the members of the St John Ambulance Group. It gave me the opportunity to thank them for saving my life and to personally thank Phil and Kevin, the Community First Response Manager.”


Feature 11 Would you like to become a Community First Responder? Our Community First Responders are a vital part of our emergency care services. They are volunteers who respond from their home addresses or work places to patients with life-threatening medical emergencies. They provide life-saving care to patients in rural areas in the first

few minutes before the ambulance arrives and are trained to deal with medical emergencies and either keep or have rapid access to a defibrillator. Their quick attendance can mean life or death whilst an ambulance is on the way.

What kind of emergencies do First Responders attend? Medical emergencies such as: • Cardiac Arrest • Chest pain • Breathing difficulties • Unconscious Patients • Fitting • Stroke

Responders Community First Responders Our Community First Responders are a vital part of our emergency care services. They are volunteers who respond from their home addresses

or work places to patients with life threatening medical emergencies. They either keep or have rapid access to a defibrillator and their speed of attendance can mean life or death whilst an ambulance is on

the way. If you live in the Great Western Ambulance Service area and would like to know more about becoming a Community First Responder at work or from home, contact us on: 0117 928 0485.

Phil’s story “The reunion on the golf course was quite an emotional event. Realising that the guy I was talking to wouldn’t have been here without the immediate assistance I was able to give as a first responder was a really good feeling. Everything fell into place exactly right for Thomas, he was with other people when he collapsed, another golfer started CPR straight away and when I got the call I was only a mile away. This was only the third call out for my team and it has given us and the rest of the responders a great boost knowing that we really can make a difference. The training we receive through St John Ambulance in the use of defibrillators and oxygen prepares you to deal with incidents like this confidently and effectively. It was good to meet up with Thomas and his son and see them enjoying another round of golf at Rodway Hills.”

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Who can become a First Responder? You do not require any previous medical training. We currently have a whole host of people including nurses, engineers, postal workers, and teachers. You need: •G  ood interpersonal and communication skills •T  he ability to observe and accurately record details •T  he ability to take the lead and remain calm in pressured situations If you live in the Great Western Ambulance Service area and would like to know more about becoming a Community First Responder at work or from home, contact us on: 0117 928 0485.


12 Contact Get in touch You can write to us at: Great Western Ambulance Service Jenner House Langley Park Estate Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 1GG You can phone or fax us on: Tel: 01249 858 500 Fax: 01249 850 091 Email: pals@gwas.nhs.uk Web: www.gwas.nhs.uk We can supply larger print copies of this leaflet and we can put it on tape. Please ask if you would like this publication in another language. ©2008 Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Our Purpose... is to provide or arrange the right health or social care response to people who need, or perceive the need for, urgent advice, care, treatment or diagnosis.

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ϡή̯ ٪΍ήΑ ϮΗ ؏Ϯ٫ ‫ف‬Θ٫Ύ̩ ΕΎϣϮϠόϣ Ϊϳΰϣ ؐϴϣ ‫ـ‬έΎΑ ‫ ̯ف‬ΕΎΟέΪϨϣ ‫ ̯ف‬ΰϳϭΎΘγΩ α΍ ̟΁ ή̳΍ ‫ؐل‬ϳή̯ ‫؟‬τΑ΍έ ή̡ 01249 858612 ήΒϤϧ ϥϮϔϴϠϴՌ Vietnamese

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