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South Central Ambulance Service

NHS Foundation Trust

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UK Autodrive Project Spring Twenty Eighteen

Spring 2018

Cardiac arrest survivo team who saved his life

Chicago fires Julia’s imagination 18

Snow armageddon 28


or Mike meets SCAS e 10

Bransgore scheme co-ordinator wins ALF Award 36

Charity round up 38

Spring 2018

SCAS joins UK’s largest autonomous and connected vehicle project


In March, SCAS was one of two emergency services approached by the UK Autodrive project team to take part in a groundbreaking UK trial of connected and autonomous vehicle technology in Milton Keynes.

Spring 2018

“The vehicles we brought to these latest trials in Milton Keynes were equipped”, says Tim, “to be able to operate on dual carriageways, on higher speed roads than we have used before and, of course, coping with roundabouts!”


UK Autodrive is the largest of three UK consortia (funded by government and industry) launched to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK. UK Autodrive brings together leading technology and automotive businesses, forward-thinking local authorities and academic institutions to deliver a major three-year UK trial of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies taking place in Milton Keynes and Coventry. The suggestions, challenges and commitment from Mark Begley, Head of Operations, and Steve Winfield, Clinical Operations Manager, for Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale, along with the commitment of the local ambulance service team, during the planning stages made SCAS the obvious emergency service partner of choice for the Milton Keynes trial. The project saw SCAS team up with Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre to demonstrate a range of the latest vehicle technology including selfdriving, self-parking, collaborative parking (where real-time information about free parking spaces either in the vicinity or close to the driver’s final destination is provided) and two connected car safety features. The first safety feature involved an Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) system, which alerts drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching and also indicates which direction it is coming from. The EVW sends a signal directly from the emergency vehicle (ambulance, fire engine, police vehicle) to nearby connected cars. The driver is then informed that the emergency vehicle is approaching and advised to make way for it.

The second trial demonstrated an Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EBBL) feature which gives a warning when another connected car further up the road brakes heavily – potentially giving drivers several additional seconds to avoid a possible collision. Tim Armitage, Associate Director at Arup – an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, and one of the leading organisations in the UK Autodrive consortium – and UK Autodrive Project Director, was keen to highlight why Milton Keynes was carefully selected for this latest phase of live road trials. “The vehicles we brought to these latest trials in Milton Keynes were equipped”, says Tim, “to be able to operate on dual carriageways, on higher speed roads than we have used before and, of course, coping with roundabouts!” Paramedic Team Leader, Lisa Pringle, who along with colleague Nigel Mason, Paramedic, took part in the trials over a five day period between 14-23 March in central Milton Keynes, said: “Some people do tend to panic a bit when they see or hear emergency vehicles approaching. As a result their vehicles can become very unpredictable and we have to adjust our driving to manage that risk. The system we have been helping to trial tells the driver not just how far away we are, but what direction we’re coming from. This helps them plan ahead even before they can see us and sometimes, even hear us coming.” Nigel added: “As well as helping us get to emergency incidents that little bit more quickly, this technology also has significant benefits when we’re then

Spring 2018

transporting a seriously ill or injured patient to hospital on blue lights. If that journey can be made smoother for the patient, then this also potentially helps improve their chances of making a good recovery.” Lisa and Nigel were tasked with spending the first two days of the project working with the UK Autodrive team on a series of practice runs around central Milton Keynes, identifying the optimal and safest locations for trialling the EVW system, whilst checking that the technology

fitted to their ambulance was operating correctly and communicating with the systems on the cars. Once this stage was completed, the SCAS team were then tasked with demonstrating the EVW system to a series of automotive and technology industry VIPs, along with national, regional and specialist media representatives. The team’s work was subsequently covered in national TV news, national newspapers and a large number of specialist publications and online channels. A Brazilian TV crew attended the trials in

“As well as helping us get to emergency incidents that little bit more quickly, this technology also has significant benefits when we’re then transporting a seriously ill or injured patient to hospital on blue lights. If that journey can be made smoother for the patient, then this also potentially helps improve their chances of making a good recovery.”


Milton Keynes and it was also reported on by other international media, including from India, America and China. Philip Astle, Chief Operating Officer at SCAS, was one of those invited to the VIP Day and added: “We were delighted to have been approached by the UK Autodrive project team. As well as being an innovative ambulance trust, we have a strong commitment and focus at SCAS on safety – for our patients, for our staff and for the communities we serve. By being involved in trials of such cutting edge vehicle technology, we can provide valuable input from our frontline staff to the engineers, researchers and car manufacturers that will make our roads safer places for all users in the future.” A short video about the Milton Keynes trials can be viewed on SCAS’ YouTube Channel here:

Road Safety All of the cars being used in the UK Autodrive project have been rigorously tested before being introduced onto public roads. Robust safety measures have been developed and refined as integral parts of the programme. In addition, there will be a trained operator at the wheel – ready to take control of the vehicle if necessary •

More than 1.25 million people die each year worldwide as a result of road traffic collisions (90% of which often quoted caused by human error)

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years

90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 54% of the world’s vehicles

Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are ‘vulnerable road users’ – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists

Road traffic collisions cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product

Without sustained action, road traffic crashes are predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030


Spring 2018

Cardiac arrest sur Mike meets SCAS te who saved his life

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Spring 2018

It was a new year to remember for some of SCAS’ Hampshire staff when Mike Smith and members of his family, paid a visit to our Hightown Resource Centre in Southampton on 2 January to meet some of the team that helped save his life when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mike suffered his cardiac arrest at home in Southampton on 13 July 2017. “I had just done my usual thing during the day”, recalls Mike, “which included a game of walking football. I remember coming home for lunch and knew I wasn’t feeling right. I called out to my wife, Jill, and she then dialled 999.” The call was taken by Emergency Call Taker, Aaron Winn, in SCAS’ Clinical Coordination Centre in Bicester. Recognising the severity of the symptoms Jill was describing – chest pain and struggling to breathe – the call was prioritised as a potentially lifethreatening emergency. Dispatchers Phil Hallinan and Jenny Burrett, based in the Clinical Coordination Centre in Otterbourne, then immediately began sending help to the family’s home. Paramedic Kev Moore arrived eight minutes after the initial call and as he was talking to Mike and carrying out his initial assessment and observations, Mike’s condition worsened and he went into cardiac arrest. Kev radioed for immediate backup and two ambulances – the first crewed by Paramedic, Anne Carnell, and Emergency Care Assistant,

Torran Elliott, the second by Paramedic, Sandy Stephens, Emergency Care Assistant, Chris Young, and Student Paramedic, Aaron Ochiltree – were also dispatched to the scene. Daughters Amanda Lowe and Helen Smith, couldn’t praise the team’s efforts highly enough, saying “they all provided outstanding care, working tirelessly to save our father by providing CPR from the moment that his heart failure occurred, right up until they passed his care onto Southampton University Hospital. Without their amazing response and tremendous effort, our father would not be around today.” The team performed over a dozen defibrillator shocks on Mike at home and en route to hospital. Mike was taken out from his home through the back door, moving the family car out of the way in the process, in order that the CPR could be maintained all the way into the ambulance and on the drive to hospital. “I travelled behind in the second ambulance”, says Jill, “it felt like such a long journey but Chris kept me company and was talking throughout, which helped a lot.”


Whilst difficult to hear, Mike was very keen not just to meet the team again and say thank you face-to-face, but also to understand what they did for him as he has a complete memory loss from when Jill called 999 to waking up in hospital a few days later. Wife, Jill, added, “Mike was sedated initially and required further shocks at hospital after he had been handed over. Despite all that he had been through, he was only in hospital for two weeks before being well enough to continue his recovery at home.” Mike initially found it a little unusual to be pushed around everywhere in a wheelchair as he had always been quite active. He was keen to tell everyone at Hightown that whilst he is not yet completely back to normal, he is able to manage a walk of around 3-4 miles every day at a good pace and the family had enjoyed a very special Christmas together. “I am hoping to get back to my walking football in the near future”, adds Mike. “It’s just the grandchildren now that need to be reminded a little bit to go easy on me still!”

The grandchildren in question, Alex and Freya, had also made the SCAS team some thank you cards and helped check that the cake their Mum, Amanda, had brought for everyone was as good to eat as it looked!

Winter 2018 Spring 2017


D E C N OU E E R H T S H S On Wednesday, 24 January, NHS England

On European Restart a Heart Day, announced that SCAS and two other which this year felltrusts, on Monday 16 ambulance West Midlands and North October, we delighted Trusts, to be would be the Eastwere NHS Foundation able to train 5,200 students first over organisations to enrol on the ambulance version thepublic Global in Digital and members ofof the CPRExemplar (GDE) announcement confirmed at events programme. held acrossThe Berkshire, that the three trusts would share a ÂŁ5m fund Buckinghamshire, Hampshire to help develop into world class digital and Oxfordshire. organisations.


Spring 2018

Over the next two years, SCAS will receive an additional c£1.7m from NHS England (which the Trust will match fund) to continue its pioneering work in digital transformation. Innovations already implemented by SCAS to make its services more efficient, resilient and safe include: • Digitally integrated clinical patient management systems and dispatch systems • Virtual digital telephony platforms

“This recognition of the Trust’s investment in technology over many years to improve patient care and make our staff more effective will allow us to fast-track the next iteration of developments in the digital age. In particular we will see enhanced use of our vehicles as digital hubs, improved forecasting and planning based on the use of wide ranging data, and direct access for our clinicians (both on the telephone and at the patient’s side) to shared and current care information, all of which will improve our ability still further to provide the right care, first time to the people we serve.”

• Electronic patient record system The announcement in January of an additional £5m in funding takes the total investment from NHS England to £10m as the three ambulance trusts develop into Global Digital Exemplars. Charles Porter, Director of Finance at SCAS, said: “We are privileged to have been named a global digital exemplar, which recognises the Trust as a successful technological innovator at the forefront of the digital arena. This recognition from NHS England will enable us to deliver further improvements in patient care, efficiency and integration within the local health system and the wider NHS. The additional funding allows us to accelerate our investment in digital technologies and means we will be able to move more quickly towards our digital vision to be ‘paper free at the point of care and to provide seamless patient care leveraging the full resources of the NHS’.” Vince Weldon, Associate Director of Information Management & Technology at SCAS, said:

Will Smart, Chief Information Officer for Health and Care at NHS England, said: “We have taken a different approach with the ambulance branch of the GDE programme and are asking the three successful Trusts to think of ways in which they can work together to drive improvements through the use of digital technology. “By stepping up to become world class these three Trusts will join the most digitally advanced healthcare organisations across the globe and help deliver a sustainable and transformed NHS.” The Trust’s participation in the Global Digital Exemplar programme will ensure SCAS continues to lead the way in demonstrating how digital technology can positively impact on patient care and support transformation projects to revolutionise the way in which healthcare is delivered. As part of the programme, SCAS is keen to work with other NHS organisations and pursue jointly funded projects with the Trust’s external partners.


Following the announcement, SCAS has been developing the comprehensive proposals outlining the digital developments that the Trust is looking to introduce, including detailing the benefits that SCAS perceives can be delivered for patients across our region. The proposals form part of the final approval stage of the bidding process and must be delivered to NHS England by 23 April.

data sharing; to aid in this process SCAS aims to explore upgrading ambulances to act as ‘hubs’, improving connectivity and the working lives of frontline clinicians as they deliver patient care.

Workstreams identified in the detailed final proposals will impact on all areas of the Trust, from enhanced telephony services, to improved information transfers with acute hospitals, GPs and all points in between. Key to digital evolution is internet access facilitating

Further questions about SCAS’ participation in the Global Digital Exemplar can be obtained from Vince Weldon, Associate Director of IM&T.

It is expected that NHS England will confirm in June 2018, which of SCAS’ proposed projects will be given the green light.


Spring 2018

Chicago fires Julia’s imagination


The Windy City has been the home of many famous residents, including Harrison Ford, Oprah Winfrey and of course, Barack and Michelle Obama. Chicago is also a city that had been on the Bucket List of SCAS Paramedic, Julia Cole, for a long time and in March this year, she booked some annual leave, flights and a hotel and off she went. As well as seeing many of the city’s famous tourist

attractions and landmarks, Julia also got to see a side of Chicago that few other visitors experience, thanks to the city’s Fire and Police Departments. Here is her account of what she got up to.

Spring 2018

“The shift started with a bang: a double heroin overdose on a bus."

“I had previously been out with crews from Philadelphia on my last holiday to the US in February 2017, so I decided once again to mix business with pleasure. Having made initial contact with Chicago’s Police and Fire Departments over the phone and not got very far, it was connections I made via their social media channels that eventually helped me find the right people. It took nearly three weeks to get clearance for the ride outs with the Fire Department – in America, the Fire Department is also responsible for the emergency ambulance service – and five months to be vetted and cleared to go out with the Police Department. Barring a minor administrative hiccup on my arrival in Chicago, which was quickly sorted out by a very helpful lady in the Fire Department, I was as they say over there, good to go!


Chicago Fire Department – Ride Along #1 with Ambulance 33 I was allocated to ‘the ghetto’ part of town for my first shift. I was told that this area was run by gangs who often settle their differences by shooting each other. The shift started with a bang: a double heroin overdose on a bus. I was quickly advised by my crew that it would be a good day to observe as it was payday weekend; Chicago did not disappoint! The two heroin overdose patients were in respiratory arrest. The crew administered Narcan (Naloxone Hydrochloride) which worked quickly, bringing both patients around. A second crew and fire engine were on scene as well as the police. Our patient refused hospital treatment and opted to continue to go to work instead. I was advised that in this neighbourhood it is not wise to try to persuade people to go to hospital if they don’t want to go, as this could (and has in the past) led to a gun being drawn on the crew. We were then immediately sent to another heroin overdose in an alley; this guy was extremely cyanosis (bluish or purplish discolouration of the skin indicating low oxygen saturation) and again in respiratory arrest. It was at this point the crew advised that they had serious issues in Chicago with really strong heroin which is cut with fentanyl. Again the crew gave Narcan, quickly bringing the patient around. We took this gentleman to the hospital. As we

arrived at hospital a ‘mayday’ call came over the radio. We quickly dropped our patient off with a nurse and ran to the ambulance. The mayday call was a firefighter who was in distress. We raced to the scene as fast as we could. It looked like something from a movie. There was a building on fire with about five fire trucks, multiple police cars, several fire cars and one other ambulance already at the scene. We ran across the road to see a fireman on a backboard being rushed into the ambulance. No one was sure what had happened to him, however he was unconscious, barely breathing and had evidence of severe smoke inhalation. We helped the first ambulance stabilise him and then he was rushed to the hospital. The next few hours seemed to blur together with concern for the fireman (who was well known to my crew), and the department chiefs debriefing us. I am pleased to report that the fireman regained

Spring 2018

consciousness by the end of our shift, but was kept intubated for a further three days to prevent serious airway swelling. We were extremely busy throughout the shift, barely spending any time at the firehouse. However we managed to return for lunch and dinner, all provided by and cooked by the firemen. During the shift we were sent to a lot of jobs which over here in the UK would not require an ambulance. Each job we attended we were accompanied by the police. I was advised that this was normal due to the neighbourhood we were in. Both the police and fire crews could recount several incidents they have attended where gangs were still on scene. The ambulance crew I was with told me there was a shooting outside the firehouse two months earlier. The crew had to hide behind the concrete pillars in the firehouse to avoid being caught in the crossfire. I lasted 17 hours with the crew before giving in to jet lag. The crew advised me the next day that they weren’t sent to any shootings after I left, however they did go to a serious stabbing.

Chicago Fire Department – Ride Along #2 with Ambulance 42 I was given a ‘down town’ location for my second shift in the largest firehouse in Chicago. I was advised that this would be a completely different shift than with Ambulance 33. This part of town was mainly high rise buildings for businesses and hotels. Ironically this firehouse was mentioned in the crime tour I had been on earlier in my trip as a mob boss was hung outside it for his crimes back in the 1920s. The ‘bell’ rang straight away at the start of the shift, sending us out to a ‘person down of unknown cause’. We drove to the job and found a woman had slipped on ice and had hurt her ankle. As we arrived there was a TV crew with the patient, who continued to film us as we got her into the ambulance. We again drove to hospital under emergency conditions. I asked the crew why they did this and was advised that there was an incident where a crew didn’t drive someone to hospital under emergency conditions who should have been and the patient sued. To stop this happening again they now drive everyone to hospital under emergency conditions. We quickly dropped the patient off to hospital and returned to the ambulance. We were given a job as soon as we left the hospital to a ‘heart attack victim’ in a high rise office building. We arrived to see a fire truck on scene. The patient had the classic ‘MI’ look: grey in colour and sweating profusely. The fire crew got him onto our stretcher


and we then went into the lift to the ambulance. I was very impressed how the high rise buildings are so well organised for an emergency. We were met at the entrance, directed to the lift, which was waiting, directed to the patient, directed back to the lift which again was still waiting and then directed to the front door. There was no waiting around and all doors were held open for us. This happened in every high rise building we attended. In the ambulance we did an ECG (or EKG as it’s called over there) which looked normal. The patient told us that he had a significant family history of cardiovascular disease and he had two stents fitted already. On the way to hospital he told us he was a high end attorney and he owned the building we had picked him up from. I made sure that I was extra nice and professional so I couldn’t be sued for anything! The hospital was made aware that we were coming and on our arrival we were directed straight into the cardiac room. I did notice that in this area of Chicago we were working in, the patients appeared to be a lot heavier

than in the previous area, with most of them falling between 21-40 stone. The crews don’t have ramps in the ambulances, so crews have to lift the patient up into the back. Luckily there is normally a fire crew there to help, but not always and never at the hospital. This shift appeared a lot quieter than at 33 and I was advised that this was not normal. After nearly every job we managed to return to the firehouse for a while. This gave me time to learn about the ‘squad’ and what made them special as well as the differences between the truck and engines. We were then called to a drug overdose in a drug rehabilitation centre. The middle aged lady had taken several days’ worth of different medications. She appeared well and was talkative all the way to the hospital. We were then sent to a drug overdose on the CTA, the Chicago Transit Authority – the city’s equivalent of the London Underground. I was advised that it was extremely rare for them to have an OD in this part of town. There

Spring 2018

were no lifts or escalators to get out of the CTA, however the fire crew who attended with us volunteered to carry the patient to the ambulance. It was decided we would keep the patient in his drug induced state (as he was breathing normally) until we got to the hospital. Luckily we did as when we gave the Narcan he came round and wanted to fight us and the hospital staff, which would not have been ideal in the back of a moving ambulance! During the shift we did about 12 calls and I stayed with the crew for 14 hours.

Chicago Police Department – Ride Along #3 I was given a five hour shift with the police department in the 8th district. I was advised that I needed to report to Police HQ at the start of my shift to get a bulletproof vest and then the crew would pick me up. On my arrival they were expecting me and I was escorted upstairs by two detectives. I was given a huge bullet proof vest and was then taken back downstairs to the front desk, where my crew were waiting for me, John and Pat.

Organ Donation Week

Both firehouses were extremely welcoming and couldn’t have done more to make me feel welcome and part of the team. Both houses were interested in how things were ‘back in the UK’ and asked numerous questions about my job and the NHS. I must say the firemen were extremely good cooks and it was great to come back to a fully prepared meal during the shift.

They explained to me when we got in the police car that they were nowhere near their district and we would only become available for calls once we were back in it. They were both extremely experienced police officers with around 40 years on the job between them, 11 of which had been spent working as partners. They also explained how gun violence, fuelled by gangs and drugs, was making their job harder and more dangerous every day. The stats show that on average


there is a gang related shooting in Chicago every two hours. The Chicago Police Commander, Paul Bauer – a 31year veteran on the police force – was sadly shot and killed two weeks before my visit when, having left a meeting, was one of the officers who responded to reports of a fleeing, armed and dangerous suspect and was shot six times when he tried to apprehend the man. As we got back in 8th district we immediately got a call for a man who was not being allowed to leave his house by his mum and wife. I followed the police officers into a basement apartment to three adults screaming and shouting at each other. John and Pat managed to calm the situation quickly, establishing what had happened. The man advised that in January he was targeted and shot multiple times due to his old gang affiliations. The fight today had occurred as the man wanted to leave his house, however the wife and mum were concerned for his safety as he wasn’t very mobile and was thought to be a ‘sitting duck’ to the gangs. It was decided that we would convey him to a friend’s house so he would be out of the house and safe. During the drive there I was able to question him about his gang days and how dangerous life is for him now. Our second job was to a lady who had caused criminal damage to a subway door as she wasn’t allowed free ice from their drinks machine. When we got to the subway shop we were told that she was now next door in the laundromat. We were given a description of her and we were able to quickly locate her. It was decided that if she agreed to pay for the damages we would leave, she did and we gave the subway shop her details to follow up.

It was now time for lunch and John and Pat had promised to take me to what they described was the best pizza place in Chicago. As we drove there, they were able to describe the recent crimes committed on various streets on our route. One of the places was a house with six white crosses outside. They advised that last year someone had called the CPD to advise one of their employees hadn’t come to work for two days and asked for them to check on him. John and Pat were dispatched to the house. Unable to raise anyone at the property, they were just about to leave when one of them looked through the cat flap and saw a person lying on the floor with blood around them. They decided to force entry and found a family of six all stabbed to death. They also showed me a street corner where

Spring 2018

an innocent person was shot and killed in the last week for simply refusing to hand over his phone. After the amazing pizza we were dispatched to my last call, a pregnant 16 year old girl who had been domestically abused. We got on scene and it started snowing, but she refused to get into the police car. She explained that her boyfriend (an active gang member with numerous guns and weapons in the house) had hit her when she said something he didn’t want to hear. Because she was pregnant they decided to get CFD in attendance. John and Pat knocked on the door, but the boyfriend refused to answer. The girl was given a piece of paper to give to her local police station for an arrest warrant for her boyfriend. CFD then turned up and took her to the hospital for assessment. The crew then drove me back to the Police HQ where I said my goodbyes.

Main differences between SCAS and the Chicago Fire Department The paramedics in Chicago work 24 hour shifts and then have three days off • If I had worn my SCAS uniform on the ride outs, I was told it would have been highly likely I would have been shot as the uniform would have made me a gang target • In Chicago a fire engine or the police are dispatched to EVERY call to protect the ambulance crew

• The US ambulances are a lot smaller than ours, but we do share some of the same kit (Lifepaks, for example) • Every patient is driven to hospital under emergency conditions despite their complaint or condition • Emergency calls are not prioritised apart from cardiac arrests • If a patient refuses to go to hospital the hospital must be rung and advised of the refusal • My crew mates couldn’t believe that I was able to decide that a patient didn’t need to go to hospital – they kept telling their colleagues and hospital staff that I was ‘the lady who can say no!’ I was extremely privileged to have the three ride outs I did and will remember them forever. Having previously believed some of the areas near my station in High Wycombe were ‘a bit dodgy’, I can now safely say they are nothing compared to the dangerous parts of Chicago I experienced! On the US ambulance, the two person team is made up of a paramedic and an ambulance commander. The paramedic drives to the emergency incident, does most of the patient care and then drives the patient to hospital. The commander role is very similar to our clinical mentor role. This experience has certainly made me more aware of the autonomy I have as a paramedic in the UK and whilst none of us look forward to an over-run on a 12-hour shift, at least we don’t get rostered to work 24 hours in one hit!


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Spring 2018

It took Clinical Mentor, Ben Rean, 2.5 hours to get from Evesham, over the Cotswolds, into his base at Adderbury on the afternoon of 2 March. A journey he wouldn’t have been able to complete without the efforts of a local farmer who dug his vehicle, along with five others, out of the snow just outside Chipping Norton.



The original lyrics sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell may have referenced mountains and valleys, but that was nothing compared to what our staff and volunteers successfully overcame to get in to work and to our patients in the two bouts of severe winter weather experienced in 2018. The ‘Beast from the East’ arrived in the UK in late February, bringing significant snowfall across the South Central region overnight on 28 February and into 1 March, the first day of Spring! There were some amazing and herculean efforts by staff, volunteers and members of the public at the beginning of the month, epitomised by Peter Payne from Alresford, Hampshire, who cleared 15 miles of snow in his tractor so our ambulance crew – with a number of stranded motorists on board – could get off the A272 where they were stuck around midnight on 1-2 March and in to the warmth. In Berkshire on 4 March, Jenna Waite and Ben Pitman were sent to a patient on a country lane and found leaving the scene somewhat challenging. “Ben and I would like to say a big thank you to the man that stopped to help us. After several attempts of trying to dig and push the ambulance out, he ran to the main road where he luckily flagged down an AA van to come and help us. Justin from the AA was more than happy to tow us the length of the country lane, only leaving us when we were all happy that we could make it the rest of the way.

Spring 2018


Our Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service team was still out in force across SCAS ensuring patients were able to get to and from hospital and treatment centres. A number of 4x4 vehicles in the fleet were being utilised in the worst affected areas.

Andrew Gordon and Mark Higgins had quite a journey from Salisbury Hospital back to base in Eastleigh on the afternoon and evening of 1 March. Having taken their final patient to Salisbury, it then took them 4.5 hours to get back, which they wouldn’t have done without the help of a tractor owner to get them up Pepperbox Hill. They also stopped to help dig out a 999 ambulance colleague stuck in Southampton!

Paramedic, Amelia Davies, and Emergency Care Assistant, Andy Layton, were ‘enjoying’ the first day of Spring early in the morning on 1 March in Crowthorne.


Our amazing community first responders kept on responding despite the worsening weather, utilising scheme 4x4 vehicles like in Oxford here.

As well as a sled and foot power to respond, as shown by Carterton CFR, Richard Perry!

An appeal on SCAS’ social media channels early on 2 March for local 4x4 drivers to help get our staff into work led to over 250 offers of help. An amazing team of volunteers and vehicles began turning up from 06.00 at Southern House, Otterbourne.

Emergency Care Assistant, Tiffany Goodenough, and Paramedic, Lee Guyett, were inside a patient’s house in Crowthorne on 2 March and when they came out, discovered that a very kind neighbour had dug out a path from the front door of the property and around the ambulance. This made getting the patient into the vehicle a much easier task than they were expecting on arrival. Whoever you were – thank you very much!

Spring 2018

Conditions remained challenging on 4 March. In Oxfordshire, NHS 111 Call Handler, Karen, made the journey through enormous snow drifts to and from her base at our clinical coordination centre in Bicester.

MINI BEAST FROM THE EAST Team Leader Tom Mikrut experienced a challenging night shift in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire from 17-18 March, his 4x4 vehicle ensuring he was able to get to all the patients that needed him.

//33 The latest blast of winter didn’t stop SCAS Paramedic, Alex Garlick, and Royal Berkshire Hospital FT Occupational Therapist, Claire Williams, from delivering the innovative and highly valued Falls and Frailty Service in West Berkshire.

Ben Glover and other colleagues on duty overnight in Hampshire on 17-18 March were gritting the access roads to the Emergency Department at Winchester’s Royal County Hampshire Hospital so that other ambulances could safely get in and deliver their patients.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication in continuing to support the delivery of care to our patients in the adverse weather we experienced in March. Whether working operationally on the frontline or in one of our support services, staff and volunteers across SCAS continued to go the extra mile in order to get to work and once at work, extending shifts and providing support to colleagues. This kept our patient transport, 111 and 999 services very visible at a time when many services and organisations shut down. I know it was deeply valued and appreciated by the communities we serve.” Will Hancock, Chief Executive, SCAS

Spring 2018

Bransgore scheme co-ordinator wins ALF award Mike Jukes, Bransgore Community First Responder (CFR) and Scheme Coordinator, was honoured at the Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) 2018, picking up the Exceptional Volunteer Award. The annual awards recognise people and teams from across administrative, clinical, welfare and managerial roles who have delivered outstanding service to their ambulance trust and local communities. Mike began volunteering as a CFR for SCAS in 2005 and as the scheme coordinator for Bransgore, also looks after the team of other local volunteer responders. He has also been instrumental in establishing and continuing to support, new schemes in the New Forest. His nomination highlighted the following:

“Mike is an excellent ambassador for SCAS and works tirelessly in his local area bringing the community together. Over the past 12 years, Mike has been an inspirational character not only in his commitment to the CFR role responding to emergency incidents but also as a successful fundraiser and education provider. Mike has been nominated for recognition as the legacy of his achievements to date are a testament of his drive, innovation and selfless vision to supporting his local community and co-ordinating a team of dedicated volunteers who share that spirit and essence.�


The Ambulance Leadership Forum is an annual, two-day event organised by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. This year it took place on 20-21 March at Chesford Grange in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The annual ALF Awards take place on the first evening at a gala dinner.

Spring 2018

Charity round up

Our charity team, staff, community first responders (CFRs), volunteers and supporters work tirelessly all year round raising much needed funds for the South Central Ambulance Charity, as well as other causes. Here’s a small selection of what they have been up to between January and March 2018.


The North Milton Keynes Scheme was awarded ÂŁ5,000 by the Aviva Community Fund in January. The donation will be used to purchase new equipment including a Manger Elk lifting cushion and defibrillators for the local community. Scheme member Louise Burgess created a video showcasing the work of the CFRs and their contribution to the community; this was instrumental in helping win the award which over 800 local organisations were competing for. You can view the video at http://community-fund. project/view/17-1434

In Oxfordshire, the Faringdon Scheme was able to purchase a new scheme vehicle and retire the current car that had given long and distinguished service. Thanks to a legacy left by an extremely generous local benefactor, the new 4x4 vehicle will be able to support the local community all year round.

Spring 2018

Whilst many of us may have been recovering at home from celebrations on New Year’s Day, Katriona Jones was taking part in the Whitley Bay New Year Swim! Katriona was inspired to take part and race money for the South Central Ambulance Charity following her friend and colleague, Steve Davies, suffering a cardiac arrest at home in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, in the summer of 2017 (Steve’s story and recovery was featured in the Autumn 2017 edition of Working Together). Katriona said: “Despite snow on the Friday before the swim and Storm Dylan passing on New Year’s Eve, conditions were good on New Year’s Day and I managed to swim for 12 minutes but did end up very, very cold!” Katriona raised just under £1,000 – a great effort!

A collection at Ascot Racecourse in February raised £1,152 for the charity. CFRs from Bracknell and Ticehurst joined Charity Chief Executive, Vanessa Casey, at the races and helped raise this amazing total. In Southampton, CFRs from the local Bitterne and Sholing Schemes were invited to participate in a ‘Sponge the Adult’ event at a local school. CFR Chris Dewey bravely volunteered for target duty and helped raise £170. Well done Chris and we hope you’ve dried off now!


Paul Hughes, Tilehurst CFR, who works at Virgin Media – part of the Liberty Global Group of companies, submitted an application to Liberty Global’s In Heroes programme, which recognises and rewards employees for volunteering outside of work. Paul has been volunteering as a CFR for 11 years and was delighted when his application was selected to receive the runner-up award of €3,000. “I am very grateful for the donation from Virgin and Liberty Global”, said Paul. “It will allow us to invest in service improvements that will directly benefit patients in our local community; it will help to save lives.”

East Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire CFRs held a pop-up event at the old Waterstones store in The Nicholson Centre, Maidenhead, on 9-10 March. The team provided expert guidance, training and advice to members of the public about how to carry out chest compressions (CPR) on someone in cardiac arrest, how to use a defibrillator and what to do if a baby, adult or child was choking. Cheryl Mathews, CFR and Scheme Coordinator for Maidenhead, said: “Over the two days we trained around 150 members of the public, all of whom participated with great enthusiasm. The event was so well received from the local community that we will definitely be doing similar events in the future.”

Spring 2018

Trainee Associate Ambulance Practitioner, Barbara Sullivan, who is based at SCAS’ Adderbury Resource Centre, completed a seven-day, 108km trek across Cambodia in March. Setting out from Siem Reap, Barbara and the team she was walking with endured 40°C temperatures and 90%+ humidity, but they made it and Barbara raised over £500 for Help for Heroes.

Bracknell Paramedic, Mike Hoolihan, ran the Reading Half Marathon in March and raised £360 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance – well done Mike!


Tweet us @SCAS999

Spring 2018

Annual Recruitment Open Days see record visitors


In January, SCAS’ Recruitment Team organised the third annual recruitment open days at Northern House in Bicester, Oxfordshire (13 January), and Southern House in Otterbourne, Hampshire (27 January). The open days provide a unique and highly effective way of attracting staff to join SCAS in a range of clinical and non-clinical roles, as well as providing GCSE and A-Level students with valuable insight into the various routes of how to become a paramedic. The 2017 events had seen 79 people recruited to posts across SCAS, with 74 of those still in post 12 months later. The team were hopeful that the 2018 events would again be well-attended, but did not expect the very high numbers of people that did turn up. A record number of visitors, over 850 members of the public, turned up with nearly 600 of those registering their interest on the day in specific vacancies.

Spring 2018

Are you caring? Friendly? Own a car and got a bit of time on your hands? Having been overwhelmed with hundreds of offers of help from 4x4 drivers in the worst of the recent snow disruption, in March SCAS launched an appeal for volunteer car drivers who would be able to offer more regular assistance. The appeal was covered in local press along with existing volunteer drivers talking about their roles on local radio stations. SCAS’ non-emergency patient transport service helps hundreds of people attend planned hospital and medical appointments every day. The service is supported by a professional team of volunteer car drivers who provide transport, using their own cars, for patients experiencing difficulties in travelling to their appointments. Last year (March 2017-March 2018), the volunteer car driver team took 21,876 patients to and from appointments and covered 527,121 miles – the equivalent of driving coast-to-coast across America around 165 times!


More drivers are required across the South Central region, but particularly in Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire, to join the team; people just like Tony. “I became a volunteer car driver when I retired because I wanted more to life than just gardening, shopping and decorating. I meet some wonderful people and just knowing you’ve made a real difference to them is a very satisfying feeling. SCAS is a great place to work and I can fit in my volunteering around me so if I want to drive five days a week, a few days a week or just one day a week, I can. If you like getting out and about and helping people, then it’s definitely for you!” Volunteer car drivers come from all walks of life – people who have retired or semiretired, people who work or study parttime and even some stay-at-home Mums and Dads who are able to provide a few hours service in between school and nursery runs. Volunteers receive a mobile phone, a competitive mileage allowance and ongoing support.

Paul Stevens, Director of Commercial Services at SCAS, said: “Our volunteers do an amazing job and feedback from the patients they transport is always outstanding. We look forward to more people coming to join the team – they’ll certainly receive a very warm welcome from us and the patients who rely on them.” No previous experience is necessary, just a friendly and caring attitude along with a valid UK driving licence with no more than three penalty points, and access to a modern and reliable four door car. Volunteers will also need to be at least 18-years-old and be prepared to undertake a DBS and occupational health check. Find out more online at or email your name and the area you live in to

Spring 2018

How are we doing? A year to date snapshot

Apr 2017-Feb 2018 What does it mean? Total 999 activity equates to the number of calls which received a SCAS response or were dealt with by our clinical support desks. Category 1 – life-threatening calls. Responded to in an average (mean) of seven minutes and at least nine out of ten times within 15 minutes (90th percentile). Category 2 – emergency calls. Responded to in an average (mean) of 18 minutes and at least nine out of ten times within 40 minutes (90th percentile).

NHS 111 calls answered is the number of calls answered through the non-emergency healthcare service. CFR stands for Community First Responder. Figure opposite is all responses from 1 Apr 2017 - 31 Mar 2018. NEPTS stands for Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service.


Total 999 activity

Category 1 Mean

Category 1 90th Percentile




Category 2 Mean

Category 2 90th Percentile



NHS 111 calls answered

No. of NEPTS journeys

No. of CFR responses




(to end March 2018)

Spring 2018


Twenty Eighteen Please send articles, or ideas to along with any photos or images.

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Working Together Spring 2018  
Working Together Spring 2018