West Midlands Ambulance Service

Rise in attacks on paramedics, figures show

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Alex Moore

Physical attacks on paramedics have risen by nearly a quarter in a year, latest figures have revealed.

Smashed window on ambulance
West Midlands Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service said in April and May, 80 ambulance staff were physically assaults, 15 more than the same months in 2018.

Over the same period, verbal attacks increased as well, from 102 to 165.

But the service said "security incidents", such as theft of property, fell from 46 to 38.

Ambulance delays due to 'annual maintenance'

BBC Radio Stoke

Ambulances carrying 20 patients had to wait more than an hour to be admitted to the Royal Stoke Hospital yesterday because of "annual maintenance" at its accident and emergency department.

Ambulance
BBC

The hospital said "processes for ambulance handover were delayed and had an impact on the number of ambulances waiting at the emergency department for a brief period yesterday".

It said improvements had been made today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent someone to help manage the hold-up yesterday and said it brought 205 patients to the A&E department - lower than the expected number.

Ambulance fleet makeover in £40m deal

Three hundred new ambulances have been ordered at a cost of £40m by West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The first will arrived in August with the rest being delivered over the next three years.

The service's said they will replace existing vehicles and it means all its fleet will be no older than five years old.

An Ambulance
West Midlands Ambulance Service

They'll come with the latest equipment and WMAS said they will be lighter and produce less CO2 emissions, as well as costing less in fuel.

The trust said the plans would make the fleet the "most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world".

The service, which recently featured in BBC series Ambulance, is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and earlier this year it increased its number of vehicles by 25, to 480.

Paramedics set to get body cameras

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Andrew Morris

Ambulance crews in the West Midlands are going to given body-worn cameras as figures show two out of five paramedics in the region have been attacked.

Ambulance after attack on paramedics in Birmingham
West Midlands Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service is going to use the equipment in trial areas by next year.

Previous attacks on paramedics include an incident over a 'parking row' in Birmingham in March 2018 and a patient attacking staff as they tried to treat him in Handsworth, Birmingham, in November.

The service's chief executive, Anthony Marsh, told the trust's board this week that the cameras might not stop attacks but would help secure convictions in court.

It was revealed at the meeting that between April and October 2018 there had been 171 attacks on paramedics in the region.

Ambulance service 'to rely less' on fast cars

Local Democracy Reporting Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it's going to be relying less on motorbikes and response cars and more on traditional ambulances in the future.

Mark Docherty, its executive director of clinical commissioning, said: “We invested a lot in response cars, a lot of motorcycles and even bicycles. But what we found was that it was all well and good getting a paramedic there, but what do they then do with the patient?"

Ambulance
BBC

Mr Docherty said he also wanted more defibrillators "on every street corner", so that if someone suffered a cardiac arrest, they could get help quickly.

Meeting ambulance target in county 'would cost £45m'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Andrew Morris

An ambulance service has said the chances of meeting response times for the most critically injured patients in a county would cost an extra £45m a year.

Side of an ambulance
BBC

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) currently has 38 vehicles on the road in Shropshire.

In England, ambulance services are expected to reach patients within an average of seven minutes but, in the county, the average time was 10 minutes 44 seconds.

At a Shropshire Council health meeting, WMAS spokesman Mark Docherty said it would need another 75 ambulances to meet the target, costing £45m.

He said instead, it wanted to see more people trained in using defibrillators with more of the machines on street corners as "this is going to help save lives more than more ambulances".

Boy hit by ambulance responding to 999 call

A teenage boy suffered potentially serious injuries when he was hit by an ambulance responding to an emergency call.

Ambulance
BBC

It happened in Lichfield Street, Walsall, just after 17:30 on Monday.

The teenager was treated at the scene before being airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

No-one in the ambulance was injured, though they were badly shaken.

The ambulance service will be working with collision investigators to establish what happened, the West Midlands trust said.