South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
BLUE LIGHTS FOR SIAN AUGUST 2015
ANDOVER MUM REUNITED
CARE STARTS IN EOC
BLUE LIGHTS FOR SIAN
WITH SCAS STAFF
REAL LIFE 3
CARE S IN E 4
Over the last couple of months, a number of incidents that demonstrate the crucial role that staff in the Trust’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) play in helping deliver the very best care to patients when and where they need it have been highlighted. Here are a just a handful of those stories, all of which occurred in April this year. In early April, Vikki Matthews who works in Scheduling South for SCAS, was at home with her 16-year-old daughter, Katie, and partner, Paula Baker (who also works for SCAS), when Katie collapsed, fell against the patio doors and was unconscious for a short spell. “Paula called 999 whilst I was trying to get a response from Katie”, recalls Vikki, “and the call taker, Christine Jacobs, was very professional and provided Paula with a great deal of reassurance whilst arranging for an ambulance to be dispatched.” The ambulance arrived in five minutes whilst Paula was still on the phone. Vikki, knowing full well how busy the EOC currently is, didn’t expect the crew to arrive as quickly as they did. Thanks to the speed, professionalism and care shown by everyone involved in getting the ambulance to Katie, Vikki wrote to Tony Peters, Head of Emergency Operations Centre – South, shortly after the incident to praise all the staff. “From the way Christine handled the call, to the speed that the ambulance was dispatched by Lyndsey Williams and Dan Conway, and of course the ambulance crew themselves, I couldn’t have asked for a better service – especially as I was in a real panic at the time; it’s always worse when it’s your own!”, says Vikki. “I wrote to the crew’s Team Leaders and thanked them of course, but I wanted to write to Tony too as it’s sometimes easy to forget the high-pressured jobs in EOC and what impact staff there have in helping deliver the best possible response to, and care for, patients because they don’t do the face-to-face.” Katie’s collapse and fall were the result of her suffering from a viral infection and tonsillitis. Whilst quite poorly at the time, she has now fully recovered.
Katie with her mum Vikki
“I COULDN’T HAVE ASKED FOR A BETTER SERVICE - ESPECIALLY AS I WAS IN A REAL PANIC AT THE TIME” - VIKKI 7
Another SCAS employee also wrote to Tony that same month following an incident in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. Stuart Robinson a member of HART’s Red Team (Hazardous Area Response Team), working out of the Trust’s Winchester & Eastleigh Resource Centre, was called out on 21 April to attend a 53-year-old resident of Chandlers Ford with no medical history of note, who had dialled 999 for a chest pain that he had been unable to ease since 9am that morning. “I arrived seven minutes after the call had been made”, says Stuart. “One of the local CFRs was already on the scene and the gentleman said he had only very reluctantly called us as he didn’t want to bother anyone.” It was clear to Stuart that the symptoms indicated acute myocardial infarction – i.e. a heart attack – and this was confirmed on an ECG seconds later. A dual manned ambulance had also been dispatched to the address and the crew took the patient to Southampton General Hospital where he was immediately transferred to the Cath Lab for primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) surgery, also commonly known as angioplasty; a procedure that unblocks a coronary artery. “The patient’s heart was still infarcting on arrival at the Cath Lab”, says Stuart, “but the damage done to the heart muscle was absolutely minimised thanks to the short space of time between the call being received and the patient entering the Cath Lab. From the ambulance arriving on scene to entering the Cath Lab was just 28 minutes! It was the significant work put in by the EOC call takers, dispatchers and dispatch assistants that was crucial to the outcome. Thanks to them, the serious illness was identified, correctly coded and appropriate and available resources quickly dispatched. What many people in EOC see as just ‘doing their job’ is often unrecognised but without doubt it made the difference in ensuring a successful outcome in this case.”
On Friday, 17 April, another SCAS team member, Christine Jacobs (ECT Green Team) had cause to thank EOC staff who helped her grandparents. Christine learned that her Grandma had been suffering with slurred speech and onesided weakness throughout the morning. On hearing this she immediately called for help. “My Grandad said the call taker, Sophie Robinson, was very professional when he spoke to her, reassuring him that help was being arranged and would be there soon”, says Christine. Two crews were sent to her grandparent’s home and she was transported to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester where, after being cared for during the day, it was identified that the symptoms were caused by a TIA or ministroke. “The crews were very polite and my Grandma said she felt very comfortable with them and well taken care of”, recalls Christine. “I would also like to thank the dispatchers, Ben Savage and Helen Collins, for sending both crews out as soon as possible to her – she is very proud of the service we provide.”
BLUE LIGHTS FOR SIAN 11
Sam Cox from Oxford had been concerned about her five year old daughter Sian’s deteriorating health for a few days. Having taken Sian to her local GP on Friday 27 March, her condition was so bad that Sian was taken in to hospital in an ambulance with suspected appendicitis. Tests at the hospital discovered that Sian fortunately didn’t have appendicitis and Sam was informed that what Sian was suffering from was most likely a viral infection that should, with rest and home management, clear up in a few days. “Sian wasn’t getting any better over the weekend”, remembers Sam, “and over Monday and Tuesday I noticed a rash developing over her body. I called my Dad who came straight over and asked him if he thought a virus would give her such a rash. He didn’t think so and neither did I so we got an emergency appointment at our local doctor’s surgery that Tuesday afternoon.” Within 10 minutes of waiting at the surgery, Sian was struggling to breathe and the GP immediately called for an ambulance. The SCAS crew responding that day comprised Paramedic, Keith Packwood, and Emergency Care Assistant, Jac Hilton. “When we got to the surgery in Oxford we could see the situation was really bad”, remembers Keith. “I’ve never seen such a poorly girl.” Keith and Jac conveyed Sian straightaway to the John Radcliffe Hospital, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia, blood poisoning, Group A Streptococcus and scarlet fever. Sian was put to sleep soon after arriving at the hospital and was kept unconscious for the next three days. With careful treatment by the team at the John Radcliffe over the next few weeks, Sian made slow but steady progress as she was successfully nursed back to health. Sam’s Dad, Andy, and Step Mum, Angie, were both absolute rocks of support for Sam during Sian’s stay in hospital, with Angie often staying for 12 hours at a time. “I don’t know how I would have got through that time without them both”, recalls Sam. One day when Mum Sam and other members of her family came to visit, they noticed that Sian had received an Easter Egg.
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èè Keith and Jac with Sian
When they asked who it was from, they were told by the ward team that it had been dropped off by two paramedics who had come in to see how Sian was doing. “I really wanted to meet up with Keith and Jac before that Easter Egg appeared”, says Sam, “and that just made it even more urgent for me to do so. Those few days when Sian’s health was getting worse and worse, and then that horrible time at the doctor’s when she was struggling to breathe was awful. And as any mother would tell you, it was all a blur for me when something that bad is happening to your little girl.” Having contacted SCAS directly, we arranged for Keith and Jac to visit a fully recovered Sian and Sam at their home in Oxford in early June. Sian was very excited that she got a chance to sit in Keith and Jac’s rapid response vehicle, and as well as having the chance to thank them both personally, Sam was also very happy to donate a crate of beer as a small token of her gratitude. “In my eyes, Keith and Jac both went beyond the call of duty. Within 20 or 25 minutes of making the call they had got Sian to hospital – which during the Oxford school rush hour was no mean feat in itself. Thank you doesn’t seem enough. I know it’s their job but I owe them my daughter’s life.”
PROUD TO WORK FOR SCAS Every day SCAS staff pride themselves on embracing our core values by being caring, professional and innovative and working well within teams so that patients receive the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting first time. Over the last few weeks, staff from SCAS have been sharing their thoughts on why they are proud to work for this award-winning, dynamic organisation. Read what some of our amazing staff say on the following pages
Vince Weldon, Associate Director of Information Management and Technology. “Eight of the most rewarding years of my life striving to provide effective, resilient solutions to support the most dedicated group of patient facing call takers and clinicians it has been my privilege to work for in 25 years with the NHS! “I was talking to a senior colleague recently and realised that I am not alone in thinking of SCAS as a ‘family’ – we are all different at the end of the day we pull together to achieve great things.”
to be caring for
Simon Instone, Ambulance Care Assistant for Patient Transport Service, Hightown, Hampshire “I joined in October 1999, having transferred from the London Ambulance Service which I joined in 1988. In 2007 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. After surgery, I came back to work cured and full time again from early 2009. Have been ever since. “I’m very proud to work for SCAS and consider myself very lucky to have made a complete recovery from what were very dark days. I now have a far greater understanding & empathy for patients going to hospital. “I really do gain great satisfaction from helping people to achieve a better quality of life.”
Lyndsay Sheldon, SCAS student paramedic, Eastleigh, Hampshire “I’m 42 so embarking on a complete change of career was more than a little daunting “I need not have worried, because I am delighted to report that two years on, I have enjoyed nothing but top-class support, help and encouragement from all my new colleagues - especially my fabulous Clinical Mentor and Team Leader. “My frontline placement has dovetailed satisfyingly alongside my University coaching, giving me the opportunity to put theory into practice whenever I have felt comfortable in doing so. Furthermore, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to engage with a huge variety of patients during this course. “I am ‘SCAS Proud’ of what everyone continues to achieve on a day to day basis - not just my close colleagues and mentors, but everyone who supports frontline staff to do this unique job.
Tom Gallagher, Emergency Care Assistant (ECA), Basingstoke, Hampshire “I moved to SCAS from another Trust. I feel privileged that the Trust has invested in me both in terms of the opportunity it has given me, as well as full training to become an Emergency Care Assistant. In North Hampshire I work with a fantastic team attending emergencies, this includes our colleagues in the Emergency Operations Centre as well as the support teams. “Although the job can be stressful at times the Trust is very supportive, and there is always someone to lend a listening ear when you need it, whether it’s colleagues in the crewroom or our managers.”
On 5 March 2015, we asked for volunteers across SCAS to keep a record of their working day. The day wasn’t picked for any particular reason, but was randomly selected to provide a snapshot of what happens across the Trust in a ‘typical’ 24 hour period. The following pages detail the 24-hour period commencing 00:01 on 5 March as seen through the eyes of four members of staff and one community first responder – just a small fraction of the 3,000 staff, 946 community first responders, 359 co-responders and 143 volunteer car drivers that deliver the Trust’s services day in, day out.
Midnight and Thu begun. Kirsten W for the whole of H started at 08:00 y won’t be off duty
“As the Duty Offic all tactical decisio everything relatin often this extend supporting all sta time, especially o with whom we w that the patients excellent standar
It’s an earlier start than normal for SCAS’ Chief Operating Officer, Sue Byrne, this morning as Minster for Health, Jeremy Hunt, is visiting Trust Headquarters in Bicester.
ursday 5 March has Willis is the Duty Officer Hampshire tonight. She yesterday morning and until 08:00 today.
It’s a strange concept to think that you have to be on the top of your decision making game, despite perhaps having been woken up only seconds earlier, yet we do it week in, week out.”
cer we’re responsible for on making on just about ng to front line service, but ds beyond that, such as aff members throughout that our colleagues within EOC work very closely to ensure within SCAS receive an rd of care.
Duty officers can be called for many reasons, for example, being asked to attend serious incidents, or having to make contact with site coordinators or senior managers at hospitals if there are delays with handing over patients and freeing up ambulance crews to respond to the next emergency. Depending on the incident or issue they are dealing with, they can escalate the situation and seek further support from the Trust’s on call Gold Commander. Fortunately on this occasion Kirsten has a quiet night.
05:00 Kirsten’s alarm call wakes her up. She lives in Berkshire but works in North Hampshire, so it’s normal for her to be up this early. This morning she has a 50 mile drive to her first meeting at 08:00.
06:00 Kirsten is on the road and uses the time to call and catch up with colleagues in her team. “That’s the beauty of working for a 24/7 service – there is always someone around to catch up with!” Today she calls Nicola Hawkes, her interim Emergency Services Manager, as the two colleagues have things to discuss ahead of a team leader/clinical mentor meeting later in the morning.
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frosty start for Bob Davy, a munity First Responder in Prestwood, inghamshire. Although he’s not going here immediately, he de-ices his car checks his kit as he could get called to mergency at any moment now he’s on
in Bicester, Sue Byrne has arrived at hern House and is catching up with ls she hadn’t read overnight and reading tes in preparation for her meetings g the day.
y Lawson is a 111 Call Handler based at hern House in Otterbourne. She has just ed duty.
call handler, my job is to listen, care and ritical thinking to reach a safe outcome y calls whilst signposting my patients to ppropriate service they require.”
In Bicester, Sue Byrne’s PA Linda arrives along with another pile of papers that need to be reviewed and approved, and also delivers a welcome cup of coffee and a reminder that Jeremy Hunt will need to be met at Bicester station at 10am.
08:00 Kirsten Willis’ shift as Duty Officer for Hampshire has come to an end, and now she gets on with ‘the day job’, as Area Manager for North Hampshire. Her first task is to chair a team leader and clinical mentor meeting at Winchester Fire Station in Winnall. “I feedback to the team how proud I am of them for what we achieved recently with our staff survey replies, which is a credit to them as team leaders and mentors and we begin a conversation which focusses on my desire for all staff regardless of grade to take ownership and accountability for the actions they take – a timely reminder perhaps of what we all need to achieve. It’s a tough job on all levels at present so it’s great when we can all be responsible for what we do and feel proud of what we achieve despite working with those pressures every day.”
On his way to check the latest public access AED supplied by SCAS, Bob Davy sees an ambulance heading through Prestwood and wonders where the crew are going.
09:30 Dr Christina Fowler kindly agreed to attend Kirsten Willis’ team meeting and takes the team through Myers Briggs personality types assessments in a brief form. This session runs till midday. “What a fantastic session this was for everyone, with some very revealing insights for some as well as learning for others – I certainly learnt a lot about the members of my team and how I need to think about their strengths and challenges and how we conduct our interactions with each other.”
Sue meets Jeremy Hunt, Minster for Health, at Bicester station who arrives right on schedule at 10.10 with his assistant, Natalie, and they drive to Northern House.
10:00 “It’s my first experience of driving someone pretty important and answering his questions at the same time. I hope I won’t crash – I’m driving my husband’s car! He is very interested in understanding more about 111 and the role of the ambulance service. He has heard good things about SCAS and our team from his Permanent Secretary, Una O’Brien, who visited us in the summer. It was great to get a little time with him to tell him about the evolving role of the service and what a difference our very dedicated team make to the patients and what he can do to help us.” On arrival at Northern House, Sue hands over the Minister to Chief Executive, Will Hancock, and Assistant Director 111, Lynda Lambourne, who will show him round 111. She then returns to her office to carry on working on writing several papers that are due today for next week’s Executive meeting.
This morning, as well as providing advice to callers in order that they can manage their symptoms at home, Tracy has also transferred a few calls through to clinicians, or arranged for a clinician to ring the caller back, where there is a need for additional clinical support. Today Tracy has dealt with what might be called more routine 111 callers. However, that is not always the case.
11:00 “We use the same pathways as the 999 call handlers and due to thorough training and years of experience I have had patients calling 111 telling me they have toothache, which were actually cardiac symptoms. Obviously they were completely unaware of the seriousness before their call.” In such instances as these, Tracy is able to help ensure an ambulance is despatched as an emergency despite the fact the caller hasn’t dialled 999.
Bob Davy has a light lunch. Still no calls have come in for him. “Typical really. Busy on Wednesday, no jobs on Thursday!”
Having finished his tour and listened to s Jeremy Hunt wants to spend some time the management team so Sue joins Will Medical Director, John Black, for a 30 mi Minster has some questions about the c opportunities in the NHS.
“In particular he is interested to know wh done differently to enable people to mak choices other than to call for an ambulan ED. It’s a great opportunity to try and influ at the most senior level so we give it our
After a quick photo opportunity in the rec Northern House, the Minister departs for Radcliffe Hospital and Sue heads back to for more work on her papers before a Pr meeting.
Meanwhile, over in Hampshire, Kirsten has finished her team meeting and is now making her way to Southern House, grabbing lunch on the hoof, and on arrival catches up with Charlie Carter, HR Manager, in relation to a disciplinary panel that Kirsten is chairing at 1.30pm.
The disciplinary panel is convened at Southern House and it is a lengthy process taking up the rest of the afternoon. The investigating manager presents the case to the panel, offering the individual time to make any further comment for the panel to take into consideration. Breaks are often undertaken to consider points in line with policy as well as to clarify what SCAS’ position is from a legal and HR perspective. “I find this to be of the utmost importance to take the time to fully process and understand the intricacies of any case, in order that I can make a final decision in line with SCAS policy and process and with the understanding for myself that the decisions which are reached are correct and fair for all concerned on the basis of the facts and evidence only.”
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In Southern House, Kirsten h an end to proceedings in the panel.
“As today’s case was a partic elongated one with several c elements to consider, it is im my time to make the right de such I felt I could not offer an today as I still required some information which would sup final decision making, so this suspended with a date to be in the near future.”
Sue meets the Project Board team for its regular meeting where all current projects in the Trust are discussed and reviewed. The meeting is also used to put together detailed plans for the year ahead.
Kirsten heads for home.
“There’s a lot to think about and to plan. We finish shortly before 4pm.”
16:00 14:00 Sue meets Will (CEO) for a 1-2-1 meeting. “We try and do this every month. It’s a good time to catch up on what’s been happening and to discuss problems and opportunities.”
Over in Northern House, Sue the first of her papers for the meeting and gets it sent in. A responding to the most urge she then leaves the office at drive home.
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Having left the house at 6am Kirsten arrives back at 7pm. Thankfully she’s not on call again today so can log off with EOC when she gets in. Lucy’s shift officially starts, she signs on, and within two minutes is despatched with her crew mate to an emergency that has come in via 111. The patient, an elderly lady, had fallen at home. In discussions with family members whilst her crewmate assesses the patient, Lucy learns that the lady is not coping at home but is refusing help.
e finishes e Executive After ent emails 18:15 for the
“We leave the family with thorough advice about seeing her GP to organise a care line button, and to discuss a package of care. We also fill in an urgent falls form to reduce her risk of falling in the future. The patient and her family seem quite happy when we leave – hopefully they are reassured that more help is coming.”
The day may be ending for some, but Lucy Cameron, Paramedic, is just arriving at Newbury Resource Centre to commence her second of four night shifts this week.
Having just left and cleared down, Lucy and her partner immediately get another emergency. They are advised that the patient has burst leg ulcers and is feeling breathless. “I’m hoping his shortness of breath is due to anxiety about his legs, so we take in oxygen and the monitor. But when we get on scene it’s quite a different story!” The patient is slumped in his chair with a decreased level of consciousness. He is very pale, sweating and his breathing is rapid. He’s been incontinent of urine and his trousers are soaked in blood from the burst leg ulcers. The patient lives alone and his son when routinely checking on him today, found him in this state. No-one knows how long he has been like this. “His obs show he is extremely unwell – he’s got a fast heart rate, a high temperature, a high blood sugar and a very low blood pressure. We suspect he is in septic shock.” Lucy treats the patient to stabilise him as they convey him to the nearest emergency department. She pre-alerts the hospital using the all-important ‘suspected septic shock’ as she knows he will need treating in resus. “On arrival a bed is ready, much to my relief. I start, and finish the paperwork in hospital, having not had time to start it en route. By the time we clear, he has had blood tests and been started on antibiotics for suspected pneumonia.”
Lucy and her crewmate ar for a meal break and to giv a thorough restock. The re but before they can book t back out on a 999 call to a with stroke symptoms.
They are met by the patien still on the phone and tells ‘exactly like his last bleed’. L this as a massive red flag a across a deep gravel path now ascending a steep, na beginning to be concerned will carry the patient out.
The patient is confused, clu obvious pain and is vomitin he had similar symptoms fi which turned out to be bra
“I suspect something simil tonight. Recognising the pa critical, we complete a quic try to get the patient out of is where it got complicated
In his confused, agitated s got violent and aggressive her crewmate tried to mov downstairs. Having broken their chair, Lucy now canno downstairs and so she put to control.
rrive back at base ve the ambulance estock is complete their break they are a 77-year-old male
“I’m filled with relief when I see the blue lights out the window and a colleague from a different station walks in. Not only is he experienced, he’s 6’4 and now the only person in the room stronger than the patient. This is very lucky as I need his muscles!”
nt’s wife who is Lucy that this is Lucy recognises and having walked to the house, and arrow staircase, is d about how they
Confirming that the patient doesn’t have capacity at this time allows Lucy’s colleague to be able to carry the patient out of the house and, having been called by a BASICs doctor on her phone, Lucy is authorised to give the patient IV diazepam to relax him and ensure he can be transported safely to hospital. Lucy decides to take him to a hospital further away than his local as this had a neurosurgery department. She prealerts the hospital en route so he can be taken straight into resus.
utching his head in ng. His wife says five years ago ain bleed.
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“We are now 30 miles from base and way out of our meal break window. £10 each, but I’m so hungry I don’t care about the money. On route back to base I call control to thank them for their help – without the paramedic back up we would have been stuck. We get back to base for a late “lunch”, which I wolf down and get 15 minutes sleep. Feel quite exhausted after that job – I’ve been doing this job three months but still feel brand new sometimes.”
It’s now past midnight and well into Friday 6 March but Lucy’s shift, like many others who work for SCAS keeping it operating 24/7, continues…
JUNE 15 AUGUST
MAKING ESTHER BETTER AT HOME Having received this Tweet on 28 January this year, we got in touch with Hayley Aldis from Portsmouth and asked her to tell us in her own words about her recent experience with SCAS. “Thank you @SCAS999 for amazingly prompt and reassuring service this evening, fixing 3yr old at home rather than hosp.” Over to you Hayley… “As a typical three year old, it wasn’t unusual for Esther to have a crazy five minutes running around the living room before bedtime. However, on 28 January, one tiny slip sent her crashing into a side table. She screamed and within a moment there was a lot of blood. Her five year old sister screamed and burst into tears through shock too. Being a single parent, without a car, and given the amount of blood we were faced with, I dialled 999. I am surprised the operator could hear the detail through the wails of the children.... The ambulance arrived within minutes. Esther was still bleeding from the cut but following a quick clean it was confirmed that it was thankfully just the eyelid near the brow bone that was damaged. Given the proximity to the eye though, it was likely we’d need to go in to hospital to have it repaired.
However, knowing we’d be a relatively low priority given the injury wasn’t life threatening or terribly serious in the grand scheme, the ambulance man made a call to see if there was any possibility of us being attended to at home. The prospect of a few hours wait, at 7:30pm with a three year old in shock, did not appeal to me so I was delighted when we were told that a second paramedic would attend and hopefully glue the wound in the comfort of our own home. This happened within an hour or so; less than two hours after I’d made the call. I really appreciate their thinking outside the box and thank them for not sending us to hospital unnecessarily. Esther recovered within a couple of days and thanks to SCAS she doesn’t have much memory of what could have been quite a traumatic evening. For a three year old it was really upsetting and the staff we encountered were fabulous at putting her at ease and sorting her out which is why I sent the tweet praising them.” Well done to the SCAS team who responded so brilliantly on the night: èè Lewis Stammers - Emergency Operations Centre èè Sebastian Harris - Technician èè Paul Watts - Emergency Care Practitioner
A FOND FAREWELL TO MIKE GREGORY
There’s no doubt that SCAS paramedic Mike Gregory has had a varied career in the Ambulance Service over the last three decades, having seen huge changes at service and frontline, clinical levels. Some might say that he’s one of a kind. Communications officer Catherine Morrow caught up with him as he prepares to retire after 35 years in service to hear about the breadth of his work and find out his career highlights.
Mike explains that his career saw him begin in Berkshire in 1980 with the Patient Transport Service (PTS) before qualifying as a paramedic and eventually practicing at Hampshire stations in different roles.
One thing’s for sure and that’s Mike’s love of aviation both personally and professionally has in the latter stage of his service, definitely found a natural fit during an intake of HEMS paramedics in 2007.
Hearing him speak, it’s clear that Mike is proud of what he’s achieved over the years. It’s also evident that Mike has seen frontline paramedic practice change and evolve quite markedly into the highly trained, professional staff and immense skillsets we have in SCAS today.
For the last few years, Mike has been a stalwart of the Serious Incident (SIDS) desk at SCAS’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Otterbourne, Hampshire coordinating the dispatch of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).
MIKE’S CAREER PROFILE èè 1980: Joins Royal Berkshire Ambulance Service as Patient Transport Service (PTS) personnel. Undergoes 14 months training. èè 1981: Nominated for technician training requiring six weeks training at Bishops Waltham. Then Based at Bracknell as a trainee technician. èè Two weeks advanced driver training èè 1982: Qualifies as a technician èè 1985: Is one the first eight to be enrolled on the official paramedic course in Berkshire. Does various rotations to enhance learning before qualifying. èè On qualification, Mike is given his ‘reward’ of a red paramedic bag carrying advanced equipment such as blades, laryngoscope, IV fluids and drugs such as heparin and atropine and other cardiac drugs. èè From 1986: Mike is heavily involved with medical repatriation work. èè Mike also becomes heavily interested in aviation, getting involved in Air Shows.
èè It’s through Medivacs that Mike gets exposure to the work of Air Ambulances. èè 1990: Sits exams to pass the National Registration of Paramedics (until then Mike was only able to practice in Berkshire) èè 1997: Mike leaves Royal Berkshire Ambulance Service and joins Hampshire. Based at Whitchurch for 12 months. èè 2001: Becomes acting Team Leader at Basingstoke èè Early 2000s: Undertakes training at RAF Brize Norton which then sees him travelling to locations such as Seoul and Taiwan to repatriate injured merchant seamen flown in to the base from the seas around the Falkland Islands. èè 2003-2007: Team Leader at Basingstoke èè 2007: Is part of the new Air Ambulance initiative for SCAS in Hampshire with the county having its first helicopter. Mike is one of six HEMS paramedics to be recruited from 80 nationally. èè 2011-now: Works on SIDS desk in EOC South as a HEMS dispatcher.
As Mike prepares to start a slower pace of life to enjoy his retirement, he shares a few highlights that stand out for him: The Windsor Castle Fire – Mike arrived for duty as usual at 11.00am and was immediately dispatched to Windsor Great Park. The entire shift was spent there treating many firemen with heat exhaustion, conveying some of them to hospital. International Repatriation – On many of his days off, Mike worked for a small local company where his role was to retrieve ill or injured patients from abroad and escort them back to the UK. He particularly liked the business class travel! He also helped repatriate injured merchant seamen, picked up from ships around the Falkland Islands and flown in to RAF Brize Norton, to their home countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Philippines to name just a few. Being the First – Mike was
working in Berkshire as the introduction of Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) was rolled out across the county and he was privileged to work on the first RRV operating out of Reading Ambulance Station. He was also one of the first aircrew paramedics to work on Helimed 56, undergoing a grueling fitness regime and the dreaded helicopter dunking training! Celebrity Spotting – The joys of providing medical cover at Royal Ascot Races and Windsor Guards Polo Club meant Mike was fortunate enough to meet a number of celebrities by covering these events. “I really don’t know where 35 years has gone”, says Mike. “It doesn’t seem that long ago when I started.
the EOC staff at Southern House. You are a fantastic bunch of people who are not praised enough for your professionalism under very challenging circumstances. It’s all down to the team work and your dedication to provide the best for the people we serve.” “Farewell my friends.”
A huge congratulations to Mike for all that he’s achieved in his career. He will be sorely missed throughout the organisation but all of us at SCAS wish him a very happy retirement!
“Thank you everyone for all your support and friendship over the last 35 years. You are indeed a very special group of people that I will definitely miss. “My last thank you goes to
ANDOVER MUM REUNITED WITH SCAS STAFF
èè Pictured: Jack Ansell, Glyn Ethelston, Danielle, Lisa Morris, Mike Gregory, Vicki Bodenham, Stuart Robinson
Andover resident Danielle Bartley has been reunited with staff from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) who helped save her life following a serious motorway accident. Mother-of-one Danielle, 34, had been driving to a meeting when her car aquaplaned on the M3 on the morning of 14 November 2014. Her car overturned six times resulting in Danielle sustaining serious injuries to her spine and right arm. SCAS received the 999 call at its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Otterbourne, Hampshire. EOC staff quickly dispatched a range of frontline crews to the scene near to junction 6 including an ambulance crew, an ambulance officer, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA). Danielle was flown to University Hospital Southampton for initial treatment before being taken on to Salisbury District Hospital where she remained in a coma for a total of 16 days. Unfortunately due to severe septicaemia (blood poisoning), Danielle’s right arm could not be saved. To date, Danielle has had around 40 hours of surgery to treat her injuries to her neck, back and arm. On 10 June this year, Danielle visited SCAS’s EOC in Otterbourne to be reunited with the staff who all played a key part in helping to save her life.
Danielle explained: “It was so good to meet everyone and get to piece together all the bits that were missing for me. I really can’t thank you all enough, there are no words to explain how grateful we all are.” Emergency Call Taker Lisa Morris, said: “When the call first came in I was told that the accident was on the M3 and that the car had flipped over several times so I had an idea it was quite serious.” SCAS HART paramedic, Glyn Ethelston, explained: “When we got there Danielle was trapped in the car with quite an obvious injury to her right arm and we knew that we needed to release her from the car as safely and as quickly as we could.” Vicki Bodenham was one of the SCAS helicopter paramedics on board the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance who flew Danielle to University Hospital Southampton. She admitted: “Danielle’s a hero in her own right as a foster carer but to see her up and about and survive such serious injuries as well and the fact that she’s embracing it is really nice to see.”
èè 999 Ted at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Bicester
REMEMBERING DAD 40
AUGUST 15 The situations that our emergency call operators handle and that SCAS crews are called out to unfortunately, due to the life-threatening accidents, illnesses and incidents we deal with, cannot always deliver the endings we want, despite the very best efforts of all concerned.
“The paramedics arrived in around five minutes”, recalls Becky, “and they tried to resuscitate Dad for quite a while before transferring him to Wycombe General Hospital’s emergency cardiac unit where they continued to try to resuscitate him for another hour.”
But even in the most desperate situations, time and time again the way SCAS staff at all levels respond is recognised and greatly appreciated by the families and friends affected. Last January, one such incident occurred to the Holt family in High Wycombe.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of both the SCAS and Wycombe General Hospital teams, Ian Holt was pronounced dead just after 7pm. It is thought he probably died instantly and did not suffer. Having previously discussed organ donation as a family, Ian’s eyes were collected by the hospital’s transplant team. The team wrote to the Holt family later to let them know that Ian’s corneas were used to give sight to two females which has proved some comfort to the family.
“It was Wednesday 21 January”, says Becky Holt, “and about 5.45pm my Dad collapsed. My Mum found Dad outside and nobody saw what happened but it was a presumed heart attack.” Becky’s Mum called a neighbour to help and then immediately called 999. The call was picked up by Christopher Birch in SCAS’ Emergency Operations Centre in Bicester. Recognising the seriousness of the emergency, Christopher was able to advise Becky’s Mum and the neighbour on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and immediately despatched a range of resources to the scene. First on the scene at the Holt family home was Paramedic Philip Arkwright in a Rapid Response Vehicle, who was quickly backed up by an ambulance crew comprising Keith Packwood and Anneka Morgan.
Ian had previously survived prostate cancer and following his death the family set up a JustGiving page to allow Ian’s friends, family and former colleagues to make a donation to Prostate Cancer UK to help fund further ground breaking research. Their target of £200 was more than exceeded with the final total raised being just short of £750. “After my Dad died”, says Becky, “I remember someone saying this to me – and it was just Dad’s sense of humour too – ‘dying from reasons other than cancer when you have cancer is the ultimate middle finger you can give it’. I would like to thank all the paramedics who tried so hard to save him. We will never forget it.”
“DYING FROM REASONS OTHER THAN CANCER WHEN YOU HAVE CANCER IS THE ULTIMATE MIDDLE FINGER YOU CAN GIVE IT” 41
What others say about us The paramedics arrived within minutes. From the moment they walked through the door I received first class attention. The professionalism they showed was only outdone by their caring and personable attitude. They did not leave the proverbial stone unturned in their effort to calmly assure me that everything was in hand.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the crew who came out yesterday to my cousin, they were so kind and very efficient, with our gratitude and much appreciation.
I want to pass on my thanks to a paramedic who attended my Dad last week. We called 111 when my Dad was taken poorly and were advised a paramedic should attend. She attended within a few minutes to see Dad. She was so kind and professional to all of us that is has to be noted and passed on to her.
I just wanted to say how thankful I am to the paramedic for her wonderful work that night, she made sure my daughter was perfectly ok and responded quickly to her pain and needs, thanks for her brilliance and compassion. My daughter is making an excellent recovery.
I would like to say that the crew that attended me after my accident in the New Forest were excellent and very professional, they worked so well as a team, they made my unfortunate accident into less of a drama, many thanks.
Can I just say how very helpful and kind your Para Team of 2 were that came to my call late last evening. They were absolutely perfect in every way. We hear so many bad things on Radio Oxford etc. about Ambulance delays etc. well they certainly came up trumps and I am so grateful to them.
My daughter called for help, the team were so supportive, friendly and good humoured, they were patient and understanding of the pain I was in, they were a great team.
HOW WEâ€™RE DOING JULY 2015 FIGURES TOTAL 999 ACTIVITY
111 CALLS ANSWERED
NON CONVEYANCE %
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.
Non conveyance % is the percentage of incidents we responded to where the patient was not taken to hospital.
Non conveyance is the number of incidents we responded to where the patient was not taken to hospital.
Red 1 - Red 1 calls are the most time critical and cover cardiac arrest patients who are not breathing and do not have a pulse, and other severe conditions.
RED 1 [8 mins]
67.75% RED 2 [8 mins]
RED 1 [19 mins]
96.00% RED 2 [19 mins]
70.87% 93.49% CFR RESPONSES
Red 2 - For Red 2 calls, which are serious but less immediately time critical and cover conditions such as stroke and fits. 111 calls answered is the number of calls answered through the non-emergency healthcare service. CFR stands for Community First Responder. PTS stands for Patient Transport Service.
All figures are provisional.
T E E W T ction of Tweets le e s ll a m s a is re e H tly received from n e c re ve a h e w t a th olders and the h e k ta s , rs e n rt a p r u o read more and to re e h k lic C . lic b u p to follow us!
Becktrustme @SCAS999 I just want to say thanks 24/7 that you come when I have my brittle asthma attacks. If you are not there I would be dead.
mich_green @SCAS999 amazing support&service from 1stresponder Dave lastnight. cared4 Dad w.a susp stroke. all turned out well. thank you #grateful4nhs
AUGUST 15 Chesty1_40 @SCAS999 even if you donâ€™t have to be lifted to hospital the emergency care and evaluation of the situation was amazing my husband received
lauraiswell @SCAS999 Would like to say thank you to the fabulous Amy who helped me this morning when I had a severe asthma attack, she was just lovely
LillyerinnaDay Big thankyou to @Bucksfire and @ SCAS999 plus neighbour Max for coming to the rescue today when Mum trapped her foot in her ladder.
7 0 6 7f,ollowers
@SCAS999 Please send my thanks to Paramedic Bryan who patched my head up yesterday at the Wyevale garden centre in Havant. He was a trooper!
Follow us on Twitter @SCAS999 www.twitter.com/SCAS999
TWEET US 48
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Date
Tuesday 18 August
Woodley Police Event
Woodford Park, Headley Road, Woodley, Berkshire
Thurs 27 August
Bucks County Show
Weedon Park, Nr Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
Saturday 29 August
Cosham Fire Station Open Day
Sun 30 August
New Andover Show
Thruxton Circuit, Andover, Hampshire
Saturday 5 September
Reading Pride 2015
Kings Meadow, Reading, Berkshire
Saturday 5 September
Heritage Open Day and Emergency Services
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks
Wednesday 30 September
South Central Ambulance Service AGM/AMM
The Ark Conference Centre, Dinwoodie Drive, Basingstoke, Hampshire
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August 2015 issue of the South Central Ambulance Service newsletter for members of the public, patients and stakeholders.