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South East Coast Ambulance Service Supplement editor: Jacqueline Asafu-Adjaye

Behind the wheel with the A-Team

Inside 22

Early black contribution to the ambulance service

23

Reaching out to the community

24 Andy Newton, Paul Sutton and Jamshid Zac, SECAmb team. By Trudy Simpson

The first thing you notice about Paul Sutton, Andy Newton and Jamshid Zack is an air of quiet competence. Dressed in green uniforms with their posts neatly stitched onto their lapels, the three men embody examples of some of the different professional roles available within South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb). Paul , a trained paramedic, has now risen to become SECAmb’s chief executive. Andy is the Clinical Director and the UK’s first consultant paramedic and Jamshid is an ambulance technician, who is planning to further his training to become a paramedic. The three men show that the ambulance service is much more than just providing transportation for people who are ill. With a myriad of posts, ranging from ambulance

dispatcher, technicians, paramedics, paramedic practitioners, critical care paramedics, senior clinical and other managers, administration and finance, the service is a booming sector that is seeking more, and has more, to offer people from Black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds. “When I talk to the public, they are amazed at the opportunities we can offer ,” Paul points out. “We’ve also got some innovative things going in IMT so much so that we’ve been recognised among 10 organisations by Microsoft as a beacon of good practice. We’re a test bed for their products and a tap site for Windows 7.” Paul said the ambulance service is keento recruit more Black and Asian people, because it “wants to reflect the communities that we serve and at the moment we don’t do as well as we should on that,” Paul said. “It’s important that we get the

right message to the right community so our service needs to reflect the communities it serves. People listen to word of mouth so they ask the people they trust and if the people they trust work for us then we’ll be able to get those messages out there better.” A recent ride out with the service showed the Trust has much to offer. With equipment and gadgets, ranging from life-saving drugs and ECG machines which can establish whether a patient is having a heart attack to maternity and burn kits,the ambulance seems to be a mini hospital – and sometimes it is. Ambulance clinicians can deal with anything from transporting seriously ill patients to hospital to high-level emergency situations such as the July 7 bombings. They respond to major road traffic collisions to diagnosing patients suffering strokes or heart attack. “Thirty five percent of all

999 calls come to the ambulance service (so) you can deal with just about anything in a 12-hour shift,” says Andy , who joined the NHS in 1980 and SECAmb in 2006. “It’s a very exciting job in a key area. It’s about taking treatment to the patient rather than just transporting them to treatment.” Paul continues: “We know (for example) that the big killers in the western world are time sensitive such as stroke and cardiac arrest. We’re best placed to deal with that. If it happens in the community and it’s time sensitive, it’s an ambulance job. We will spot those people in need of critical care and we will take them to the right place,” Paul says. In fact, SECAmb has pioneered many new clinical techniques and technologies which are improving the outcomes of patients all the time. “We used to do CPR with mouth to mouth and chest compressions (starting with)

15 chest compressions compared to two inflations. This changed to 30 compressions and two inflations. Under Protocol C, we do 100 compressions and inflation after. We have measured how many patients we have delivered to hospital with a pulse after having had a cardiac arrest. We started off with 11 per cent and it’s now 33 per cent which is higher than the average,” Paul explains. He added: “We have got a lot of examples of patients who are alive because of Protocol C. It is great. One of the things I like about this job is that it is very gratifying when you are able to save a life. Cardiac arrest is a potentially reversible condition and we are reversing more this year. We plan to do more (reversals and life savings) next year so come and join us,” Paul urges potential employees. Entry into the service includes starting in Patient Cont on page 2

What is the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust

28

Joseph Clough

Comment Ethnic minority contribution to the ambulance service stretches back to more than a century ago. For example, Joseph Clough was the first Black London bus driver and possibly one of the first Black ambulance drivers. Jamaican-born Joseph arrived in London in 1906.


2 | THE VOICE

Cont from page 1

Transport Service ; joining as a student doing a degree; seeking work experience or by training and applying in various roles such as a community responder or as an emergency care support worker. Some ambulance services also have in house training courses or can help sponsor further study. “With this job, you can’t just learn it through a text book. You’ve got to do the practical,” Jamshid says. Spending the next six hours roving in a SECAmb ambulance with the three professionals shows just how varied the duties can be. It starts at Epsom Ambulance station (Surrey), with equipment and vehicle checks, a duty meeting to check alerts and weather conditions before heading to outer London areas such Chertsey and toward Molesey. The health professionals explain that the control centre assigns ambulances to areas where they are most likely to be needed based on previous data and the number of ambulances they have available. “They have the area broken up into small areas based on eight minute drives and they have a priority list. The busiest areas are high priority posts. They follow a deployment plan, using historical activity as a guide,” Paul explains. On the six-hour ride along, Paul ,Jamshid and Andy get calls about various situations occasionally although nearer ambulances are assigned. Jamshid says that on a regular shift, the calls, categorised into three tiers ranging from A for life threatening to C for not serious, can be non-stop. “You mostly work in

twos and most of the times you go from one job to another. Throughout the day, you can do emergencies and in the afternoon you may get routine transfers. Overall it is pretty good,” said Jamshid, whose ambulance technician role allows him to use his clinical skills to assess patients. Jamshid, who has been at SECAmb for two and a half years, points out that he gets ongoing training updates to boost and refresh his skills. “If in six months I have not have used particular skills, they will refresh those,” Jamshid says. The ride along eventually takes us close to Heath Drive, Dorking, where they aid another crew at a traffic accident. Along the way, Andy prepares. “What you do depends on what information is given,” he says. “There are automatic prearrival drills that you do (such as checking doses and intravenous fluids). You get updates along the way, you think about where the patients could be taken, about how serious it is and what you are required to do,” Andy explains. The case, a two-car accident, is one for which they are prepared. Jamshid explains that the patient is complaining of neck pain and after Andy’s assessment that he could have a neck injury, the crew gently move him and put him on a trolley and transfer him to the ambulance. They do further assessments and then take him to hospital. “It’s the clinical, the attitudinal and the relationship aspects that are important,” says Andy . He adds: “I’m quite sure our care was entirely appropriate for him.

Night patrol.

He was involved in a road accident. We checked his level of consciousness, which was normal. We then checked to see if he had spinal pain or tenderness. We checked if he had any neurological deficiencies such as pins and needles, any deformities in his back? There weren’t.” Andy adds: “We looked at the mechanics of the injury. This was a man within a car wearing his seatbelt who had a car run into the back of his (at 20 mph). We have some science that can be employed but we can also take some common sense approaches. We looked at his motor movement, his breathing, blood

pressure, pulse rate, and oxygen. We had a look at his car and how much of the structure intruded. With those things in mind, you come to a judgement that you hope is right.” Andy continues: “ In this job, you are on the street, someone’s house. Decision-making is the most important skill you have. This is a highly complex and important part of the health service. It’s an interesting job.” Jamshid agrees. “You have to have good knowledge of the human body,” Jamshid explains. “You’re like a doctor, trying to suss out what wrong. We make

SECAmb life to the full A

typical day in the life of a SECAmb, Clinical Education Manager would involve... The day- to -day management of up to 30 staff attending scheduled training programmes. I deliver programmes such as: clinical information, trauma and medical management training, skill and equipment training and clinical support for every level of operational staff, such as respond to emergency calls as a single responder. I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of

Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way up to you post. Where do I start? The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest levels. Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking papers? Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational

Interview with Winston Dwyer Clinical education manager

response obligation myself. What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on motorbikes. Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff.

decisions as to what is the best course of action and liaise with other areas of healthcare. There is a lot of room for learning and progression.” The job has challenges and it can be dangerous depending on the situation or individual you are dealing with. But the rewards far outweigh these, Andy says. “When you are finished, you probably see six to eight patients per day and that is an opportunity to impact on six to eight people. It’s a job that can bring a lot of satisfaction.” Jamshid identifies that satisfaction but adds that he

Motorcycle trip to Himalayas

also likes the work flexibility that allows him to spend time with his two-year-old daughter. “They have a flexible working policy. If you are like me and need flexibility in childcare, they work around it. I’m quite pleased.” Andy adds: “There is a future here. It’s a job responding to acute patient care and we want to attract people who are ready to serve,” Newton says. “Staff can develop themselves and their careers. They can rise to senior managers. There is a wealth of opportunity within the ambulance service and we are keen to share it.”


THE VOICE | 3

Casualty TV fact file: Casualty longest running medical show in the world after 19 years and over 500 episode

South East Coast Ambulance dial 999 for more heroes by Jacqueline Asafu-Adjaye

You’ve been asked to design a patient interaction diversity-training course for Paramedics. What are the big issues you would address understanding diverse communities? Firstly, increase the knowledge base and assessment skills required for a culturally diverse operational staff. The ability to recognise and treat correctly a diverse communities needs is not embedded in the core syllabus but reliant on the individuals’ personal research. What did you do in your previous job and what type of posting did you have there? I was in the Army with the Royal Engineers for 18 years, serving in Northern Ireland, Falklands, The Persian Gulf, UK, Cyprus and Germany. I qualified as a Carpenter and Joiner, combat engineer and specialised as a Commercial Diver for 11 of the years. How easy or hard was it for you to change careers? I have worked for the NHS over 15 years, firstly with the London Ambulance as a Control Assistant and then joined Kent Ambulance Service in 1994 as a Trainee Paramedic. I developed as a Technician, achieving Paramedic in 1997. Then in 1998 moved to Northfleet Ambulance Station as a Paramedic team leader. In 2000, I started a 5- year role with the Kent Fire and Rescue Service as an Emergency life Support Instructor, before returning to a post with Kent Ambulance Service as an unscheduled Care desk paramedic. I joined the training department in October 2005 and embarked on a programme of personal development, which included IHCD instructor qualification and a teaching Diploma. When you are not working you are likely to be found cooking...hiking or ...stroking the cat or tinkering with my motorbike or bicycling. Name your forbidden passion... would suggest my passion for motorbikes. One item that you couldn't do with out and you’d take with you to the desert Island... My Blues Harmonica! And perhaps I’ll commit to learning how to play it. If you had the opportunity to make a big change that would impact on lives anywhere in the world and in any field what would it be? I would want to set up a Pre hospital medical system in Kerela, a village in South India Describe your best moment whilst working for SECAmb... I think it must be my first maternity call after qualifying as a Technician on my 1st operational shift, I delivered a little girl who was named Christina. The last movie you watched in the cinema Madagascar 2 Last overseas destination you visited? Himalayas.

S

outh East Coast Ambulance service NHS Trust (SECAmb) employs over 3,000 staff across more than 65 sites in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Around 85 per cent of their workforce is involved in life saving activities ranging from: delivering babies, assessing and stabilising road traffic victims caught up in motorway pile ups, or providing rapid response to 999 calls from any of their three emergency dispatch centres. Less than 5 per cent of its workforce are from Black, minority and ethnic (BME) backgrounds, when asked whether this was a concern for the Trust, Alexandra Ankrah, it’s Equality and Diversity lead told The Voice: “Yes it’s a real concern, but our measures to address the low number of BME applicants are beginning to bear fruit, as we see recruitment and retention figures increasing year in year. Admittedly there’s still some way to go. There is an understanding across the national health service that there is a link between the workforce reflecting the patient population it serves, and delivering the best patient experience.” SECAmb is one of just 11 ambulance trusts in England and Wales. The Trust operates in one of the more ethnically diverse regions, with 9 per cent of people living there coming from Black and Asian communities. Paul Sutton, SECAmb’s Chief Executive supported the public launch of Aspire at Epsom Racecourse in Surrey, last October during Black History month. One year on, Aspire has succeeded in encouraging better engagement with staff from BME backgrounds, by providing a collective voice to promote equality and diversity throughout the South East Coast Ambulance Service and is open to all staff. Winston Dwyer, Clinical Education Manager at SECAmb and Co-chair of Aspire@SECAmb said: “We are committed to being a force for constructive dialogue, which through action makes a practical difference and delivers a world-class service for all our patients and the communities we serve.” Anecdotally there is a general awareness that,

Hero at work.

African Caribbean and other members of ethnic minority groups may be less likely to dial 999 when facing life and death situations. This is particularly worrying for Aspire, given that the cultural and religious intricacies of minority ethnic communities, are still little understood by mainstream Britain. Winston Dwyer explains: “Aspire, goes much further than putting colour or ethnicity into the right box or ticking off diversity objectives. It recognises that having a more inclusive and diverse work force can stop cultural misunderstandings in a life or death situation and in fact put communities at greater ease. Religious and cultural differences, as well as health conditions which have a higher prevalence in Black people such as: stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and sickle cell anaemia, can at times create the need to call an ambulance. Faced with such a situation, for some paramedics responding to distressed BME patients, the experience can prove challenging in giving life saving assistance when the current training curriculum does not always include cultural awareness. For Aspire, it is important that in those few vital seconds of initial contact with the Ambulance Service, a patient’s first impressions of how their emergency is handled is culturally sensi-

tive and appropriate. The ambulance service, like the rest of the NHS is working towards delivering ‘personalised care’, but ASPIRE members feel strongly that this must reflect cultural and faith diversity. A patient’s experience and the quality of care they receive should be seamless, from the 999 call conversation, to the arrival of the ambulance staff. “The ambulance service has begun doing more work with community groups. The Trust really values meeting and talking with the elderly or other seldom heard groups at community events, festivals, places of worship. When we go out to a group of Jamaican elders, for example from The Windrush generation many living without family contact, or relatives, an African Caribbean Paramedic is likely to bond far more quickly with the group, people feel less panicked and you can build up trust. People feel that they may be more easily understood. “This is simply because they share the same cultural traditions or even dialect, and can converse in patois with the Paramedic.” explains Winston Dwyer, Co-Chair of Aspire@SECAmb. Every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke. A condition resulting from the blood supply to the brain being disrupted caused

either by a blood clot or bleeding from a burst blood vessel. Stroke is the third biggest killer and single greatest cause of disability in the UK. Black people are far more likely to suffer a stroke. South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust has already been hailed as a ‘beacon of good practice’ for its innovative stroke care. The trust is building on its success through the launch of a Stroke Awareness campaign targeted at areas across the region where the risk of stroke is high, either because of the ethnic profile of the local population or other risk factors in the local population. Paul Sutton, the Trust Chief Executive is keen to ensure that patient-care campaigns such as the Stroke Awareness Campaign are supported by the trust’s aspirations to recruit and retain a diverse staff workforce. Taking world class care to all of the trust’s diverse communities and to assist in the trust’s work with patients and people from South East’s Black and minority ethnic communities. Paul Sutton said: “South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust recognises that equality and diversity are best addressed, not as separate issues, but as the “golden tread” running through everything that we do. “


4 | THE VOICE

South East Coast Ambulance Service XXXX

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff.

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff.

XXXX

XXXX

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff. You’ve been asked to design a patient interaction diversity-training course

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff. You’ve been asked to design a patient interaction diversity-training course for


THE VOICE | 5

Casualty TV fact file: Suzanne Packer’s (Tess) kid brother is champion Olympic hurdler, Colin Jackson

Tess

xxxx

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff.

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff.

XXXX

XXXX

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

I’m in a rut with my day job but am a huge fan of Casualty. I’d like to change careers and work my way The pathway for development within SECAmb is currently under review with a clear pathway for Ambulance Technicians to advance to the highest .

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

Are you cooped up all day, sat behind a desk marking Far from it, some time is spent on preparation and planning, some spent supporting staff operationally and I do still have an operational response obligation

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

What is work life balance like at SECAmb? I have 4 grandchildren whom I adore, a couple of motorbikes and a very tolerant wife who loves playing grandma and indulges my passion for the regular charity trip to India and Africa on

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff. You’ve been asked to design a patient interaction diversity-training course

Who do you train and why? My training remit is along the clinical and medical pathway with a range of courses to accommodate the 12 levels of operational staff. You’ve been asked to design a patient interaction diversity-training course for


6 | THE VOICE

I have not yet had the pleasure of being in Casualty, bit jealous that Eddie Nestor has. People still stop me and ask me when I’m returning to East Enders.

Black heroes, blue lights and our contribution to emergency health care Comment by Alexandra Ankrah

hen the all singing and dancing musical, Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame, burst on to our stage over 20 years ago – we knew that the time had come to celebrate and share with pride the historic contribution of Black and ethnic minority people to world history. The profound contribution of people such as Mary Seacole [18051881] to emergency medicine and the then British Empire, was brought to new generations. Two decades ago many in the Black community, whose parents had arrived in the 1940s-50s, were beginning to dare dream that they were helping to build a Britain where their children could be anything they wanted. In the NHS, over the two decades that have passed, we have seen enormous changes, with Black and ethnic minority people working in positions of leadership and across all areas of clinical prac-

W

Imhotep 1856-1931: was of African origin – from ancient Eqypt, he is hailed as the ‘Father of Medicine’, he developed new techniques for managing trauma, as well as fractures and was reported to have treated tuberculosis, gallstones, appendicitis, gout, and arthritis. Imhotep mapped the position and function of the vital organs and the circulation of the blood system. He lived more than a millennium before Hippocrates (about 2980 B.C.). In the mid-1950s, AfricanAmerican physicians began to galvanize and to organise against discrimination in American hospitals and health care. They held a series of national meetings, which they called Imhotep conferences. As the historian Ivan Van Sertima explained, the Black medical professions, “correctly perceived the illogic of discrimination against physicians and patients because of their African origin when the Father of Medicine was of African origin.” Imhotep lived around 2650-2600 BC

Charles Richard Drew: 1904-1950 Graduated from Columbia University in 1940, the first African American to receive a doctor of science degree from that institution. He pioneered the development of processes for storing and shipping plasma, which assisted the British war effort. Drew became the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York. He was asked to organize a massive blood drive for the U.S. Army and Navy, consisting of 100,000 donors. However, the military issued a directive to the Red Cross, ordering that blood be typed according to the race of the donor, and that African-American donors be refused.

tice. Sadly in one sector of the NHS, the ambulance service, there are still very few Black or ethnic minority people working as: Paramedics, Emergency Care Support Workers or in the emergency control centres. People sometimes forget the historic contribution that has been made by ethnic minorities to emergency and urgent care. Whilst the poor representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds must be dealt with as a priority, it is important to highlight the contribution made by ethnic minority people to emergency health care. Mary Seacole was not the first person of African, Asian or Caribbean origins to practice in urgent and emergency medical care. Indeed Imhotep [lived arounf 2650-2600BC] of ancient Eqypt – an African, is credited with being the first Doctor in history. Imhotep

developed new techniques for managing trauma, as well as fractures and was reported to have treated tuberculosis, gallstones, appendicitis, gout, and arthritis. In the mid-1950s, when African-American doctors began to organise within the civil rights movement, against discrimination in American hospitals and poor access to health care. They held a series of key meetings, inspired by history they called these the Imhotep Conferences. As the historian Ivan Van Sertima concluded, the Black medical professions of 1950’s America: “correctly perceived the illogic of discrimination against physicians and patients because of their African origin when the Father of Medicine was of African origin.” The various NHS ambulance trusts across England and Wales, have begun meeting

Dr. James McCune Smith: 1811-1865 First African-American to gain a medical degree, 1837 at University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. During this time people of African origin were denied admission to U.S. medical schools. Smith was a brilliant student who wanted to become a doctor, but he was apprenticed to a blacksmith instead. Smith worked the blacksmith’s bellows with one hand, it is said he held a Latin grammar in the other and continued to study. But when he applied to Columbia College he was turned down. So instead he went to one of the world’s top medical schools in Britain. In five years he earned three degrees and graduated at the top of his class. He returned to America and as an activist and campaigned for the abolition of the slavery in the South.

together to consider ways of tackling the health inequalities amongst the Black and ethnic minority community. These same NHS ambulance trusts, are also working hard to try to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. The impact of health inequalities on Black and minority ethnic communities takes many forms, reducing life expectancy for people in some communities by decades, increasing the risk that Black and ethnic minority women will die in pregnancy –resulting in higher number of emergency admissions because of mental health issues. The ambulance service wants to encourage people from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds to apply to join the service because they know that an inclusive workforce, is more likely to help tackle the poor health outcomes for some sections of the community. People like Joseph Clough,

who is perhaps the first Black man employed as an ambulance driver – albeit on the front lines of World War I – create a sense of continuity. By making this link with the past, we will perhaps inspire people to aspire to a career in the ambulance service. Joseph Clough’s, who was born in Jamaica, gave his service to the Empire during a time of great adversity. It is often at times such as this that we see the contribution of people like Rufaidah, a women who like Mary Seacole, has been largely hidden from History. She was the daughter of a Doctor, who lived at the time of the Prophet himself and is acknowledged as the first Muslim Nurse. Rufaidah is described in contemporary accounts as a kind and capable leader with clinical skills that she shared with the other nurses, whom she trained. Prof. Dr. Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr ,in his book Historical


THE VOICE | 7

Judith Jacob is hooked on hospital dramas. She has starrred in Doctors, Holby City and 70s ward drama Angels. In East Enders she played Carmel, the Health Visitor 25

Mary Seacole nurse or paramedic? Al Razi born in Persia in 865 AD, Attributed to be the first to use the seton in surgery and also used animal gut for sutures. His clinical descriptions of measles and smallpox has been described as strikingly modern and was commended by the WHO. He emphasized the importance of consulting the wishes of the patient. He stressed that a physician should employ encouraging words for the benefit of the patient’s recovery .

Bhagat Puram Singh Hailed as both a great humanitarian and innovator of care to the mentally ill, as well as those at the end of life. During 1947, a period of violence, partition and political uncertainty, he established a care institute in Amritsar which is called Pingalwara, which means "the home of the crippled" it provided an important centre for the care of those living with mental illness, as well as the terminally ill. Its uniqueness was based on it adherence to principles of respect, autonomy - which were ahead of their time.

Roots of the Nursing Profession in Islam, describes her as both a public health nurse and a social worker. Rufaidah clearly made her most significant contribution during the early battles, as an emergency health care provider – during the period that Islam emerged. It is said she led groups of volunteer nurses who went to the battlefield and treated the casualties. There are many others whose work have literally changed the direction of emergency health care practice, people such as Dr. Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950), the African American doctor, who pioneered the development of processes for storing and shipping plasma, which assisted the British war effort during World War II. Drew became the first Director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York. Fortunately the ambulance service has a generation of its own heroes –people like Neville Levy, who chairs the National BME Forum of the Ambulance Service Network. His ambulance career began in the Patient Transport Service, but after six months started doing relief work for the A&E side, qualifying as a paramedic in the early 1990s. Since then, he has worked in a variety of senior roles – including clinical team leader, service delivery manager and his current role of station manager in Weston-super-Mare. Dennis Gandu Moss, has been with the Welsh Ambulance

service for 34-years. Whilst proud of his Anglo-Indian heritage and roots – he sees his role as meeting the health needs of anyone who is in need. He speaks with a quiet optimism around the changing role of the NHS. Over the years, Dennis has drawn on his broad cultural knowledge and understanding to actively promote new ways of working in partnership with local minority faith communities. He has also contributed to articles on cultural diversity and a guide for the ambulance service. Dennis Moss or Neville Levy would not see themselves as Heroes – in that they are no different from the thousands of ambulance staff, working across the NHS. Like the many women and men working in the ambulance service, they see their job as to do good and do their best. They save lives, they may also change lives – but at the end of the day – that’s their job. Sources: Mary Seacole Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery Joseph Clough Image courtesy of the London Transport Museum The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands www.maryseacole.com Blacks in Science Ancient and Modern Editor Ivan Van Sertima Transaction publishers The Historical Roots of the Nursing Profession in Islam Professor Dr. Omar Hasan Kusle Sr Dr.Charles Drew: Blood Bank Innovator African-American Biographies Series. Anne E. Schraff June 2003

Joseph Clough: was the first Black London bus driver and possibly one of the first Black ambulance drivers. Joseph was born in Jamaica in 1886, he arrived in London in 1906. However when the First World War started, Clough wanted to join up to help defend his adopted country. He enlisted in the Army Service Corps based at Kempston barracks in 1915. He drove a field ambulance for four years in Ypres on the Western Front, the area that saw some of the bloodiest battles. Publishe online: www.blackhistorymonthuk.co.uk

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams: 1856-1931 is perhaps the first American to perform the successful open heart surgery in 1893 – when he carried out emergency surgery on a patient who had been stabbed. His greatest achievement may however be that he founded Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses (the first Blackowned hospital in America) in 1891. From 1893-1898, he was Surgeon-in-Chief, Freedmen's Hospital, Washington, DC. He also founded the National Medical Association in 1895 (AfricanAmericans were denied membership in the American Medical Association) and was a charter member of the American College of Surgeons, the first and only African American member for many years.

Mary Seacole, in high pressured and critical situations, demonstrated leadership and innovative practice. This ability to lead in difficult circumstances made a real difference to the lives she touched and saved. At the risk of offending those nurses who have claimed Mary Seacole as one of their own, when you read about Mary Seacole, you would be mistaken for thinking that she was a Paramedic Practitioner. It is almost as though from beyond her grave, Mary Seacole, is advocating for what has been called, the Front Loaded Model of Health Care. This model of care means a qualified health worker, taking appropriate care to the patient, wherever they are at speed. It should not be forgotten when the Victorian nursing profession rejected Mary Seacole’s offer of help and her methods, she went alone to the front line of the Crimean war and found a way to successfully assess, diagnose, treat and convey patients. Mary Seacole took emergency and urgent care to the patient regardless of whether they had the ability to pay. When you phone 999, we do not ask patients to pay, we just want to make sure we get them the appropriate care that they need. The ability to assess, treat and safely convey a patient, whilst providing world class health care is the ambulance services’ core role. This core role is why many people decide to train to become Paramedics, that’s why we hope others will be inspired to join the ambulance service– hopefully becoming our future leaders and on the way promoting innovation that creates world class health services for all.


6 | THE VOICE

South East Coast Ambulance Supplement was produced and published by The Voice. For similar marketing opportuities contact:

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Supplement Display Advertising Co-ordinator Dwight Norman GV Media Ltd, 6th Floor, Northern & Shell Tower 4 Selsdon Way London, E14 9GL Tel: 020 7510 0359 Email: dwight.norman@gvmedia.co.uk Fax: 020 7510 0341 Mob: 07939 094 814 www.voice-online.co.uk Supplement editor: Jacqueline Asafu-Adjaye Designer: Aundrieux Sankofa John Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal The Mary Seacole Memorial fund needs your help to erect a memorial that will bring the achievements of this remarkable woman to life. Support for construction and the site has kindly been donated by the St.Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. To donate please contact: Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal c/o Royal College of Nursing 20 Cavendish Square London W1G 0RN contact@maryseacoleappeal.org.uk www.maryseacoleappeal.org.uk

South East Coast Ambulance Service  

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