blank
Connect with us

Welsh Ambulance Trust

Ambulance service introduces new technology to better support victims of domestic violence

Published

on

The Welsh Ambulance Service has introduced new technology to better support victims of domestic violence.

Ambulance crews have been supporting patients to access Live Fear Free for help and advice on domestic violence since its creation using a bespoke telephone number.

Advertisement

Now crews now have the ability to assist patients via an app on their Trust-issue iPad to speed up and streamline the process.

Live Fear Free is a 24/7 helpline for women, children and men experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence or other forms of violence against women.

It is a main point of contact in Wales to access support, information, safety-planning, advocacy, refuge and counselling services. 

Nikki Harvey, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “The Live Fear Free helpline is a free, confidential 24/7 specialist resource that anyone can access, at any time.

“Welsh Ambulance Service crews have been using it for some years to signpost patients to help and support, using the good old fashioned telephone – until now.

Advertisement

“Having the technology to refer patients digitally using iPads is not only more efficient for crews, but it means that vulnerable patients get the support they need more quickly.

“We all deserve to live without fear and in an environment which is safe, and modernising this referral pathway brings us a step closer to that.”

Live Fear Free helpline manager, Ann Williams, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service, making our joint support of those most in need across Wales even more efficient.

“For staff at the helpline and the ambulance service alike, time is critical.

“Using updated technology means that we can strengthen vital, time-saving communication methods, which will directly benefit the women, men and children getting in touch, for whom support can often be life changing or even life-saving.”

Advertisement

You can contact Live Fear Free by calling 0808 80 10 800, texting 07860 077333, emailing info@livefearfreehelpline.wales or by using its 24/7 live chat service.

Neath Port Talbot

GP hails new paramedic team as ‘game-changing’ for patients and families

Published

on

By

A service which sees specialist paramedics supporting people in their last days of life has been hailed as game-changing by a Swansea GP.

Dr Chris Jones of Llansamlet Surgery said the new service streamlined the process with obvious benefits for patients and families.

Advertisement

Last October, the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) appointed its first dedicated palliative care paramedics.

Following training at Morriston Hospital, the four-strong team now works with Swansea Bay’s specialist palliative care team, dividing their time between patients in the community and those in hospitals and hospices.

Palliative care involves the relief of symptoms and stress for people with a life-shortening illness, and helping them plan for the future.

The specialist paramedics are also there for relatives, working alongside them to help families support their loved one’s care.

The pilot service, the first of its kind in the UK, commenced in December and, said Dr Jones, was already making a real difference.

Advertisement

“It’s a daunting area. Even though we deal with such cases on a daily basis, it sometimes needs specialist input and liaison with a service that has more specialised knowledge and understanding.

“It is an area of the utmost importance. It is a very critical time in people’s lives, and their families’,” he said.

“It’s not something that can be delayed. These are situations that have to be dealt with on the same day. Having the palliative care paramedics available has been game-changing.”

Dr Jones said that, previously, someone from the surgery or one of the palliative care nurses or doctors would have gone out to the patient’s home and liaised to make a plan, but that would often take time.

Now, he said, it was all done on the same day, sometimes within the hour. “I phone the advice line and speak to one of the palliative care clinicians,” said Dr Jones.

Advertisement

“They provide advice about what needs to be done at my end. If appropriate they will contact the paramedics who will go out to the patient’s home.

“They liaise back with the observations and examination findings, and with specialist advice if it’s needed.

“We can arrange for any prescriptions and drugs charts to be provided to the family. It’s good for the patient, and the family.

“The paramedics can provide that extra support to the families. They link with the GPs and the consultant and act as the face of many services, rather than have a GP and a palliative care consultant, then possibly the GP again.

“They are bringing services together to support people.”

Advertisement

Dr Jones said the service also allowed continuity of care, by involving one GP, one palliative care consultant, and one paramedic.

“Previously I may have been involved to begin with but if I was not available the following day, another GP would pick it up. 

“It has streamlined the whole process, with obvious benefits for patients.”

Another benefit is that the paramedics can help make the team available more often when very ill people and their families may have the greatest need, including weekends when other services may be harder to access. 

For some years there has been a specialist nurse available seven days a week and support from on call specialist doctors.

Advertisement

But the paramedics add a new strand to what’s provided and makes it easier to respond more quickly each day.

Dr Idris Baker

Swansea Bay Palliative Medicine Consultant, Dr Idris Baker, helped trained the specialist paramedics.

He said: “We’re so pleased to see how these paramedics are fitting into the team and grateful for support from the ambulance trust as well as the health board to get them up and running.

“They add a string to our bow. We have contact with lots of people at home every year across Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.

“Many of them we can see face-to-face but we haven’t always been able to do that as quickly as we wanted or as they needed.

 “The paramedics’ responsiveness and their skills in assessing patients and their situations are already so helpful in guiding how we support district nurses and GPs in their care.

Advertisement

“And they are so enthusiastic in how they go about it.”

Ed O’Brian

Ed O’Brian, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s End of Life Care Lead, said: “We’re so pleased to hear that this joint initiative between WAST and Swansea Bay has been so well received, and that’s it’s benefiting not only patients but also other health care professionals.

“When we introduced this new role it was the first of its kind, an unproven concept, so we’re constantly measuring and evaluating to ensure it is bringing maximum benefit.

“Receiving this positive feedback from Dr Jones is really pleasing to read.”

WAST says it hopes to build on the success of the role first piloted in Swansea Bay by expanding the service to other areas of Wales.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Welsh Ambulance Trust

‘999? I’ve eaten a mouldy tomato!’ – Inappropriate calls to Welsh Ambulance Service revealed

Published

on

By

The Welsh Ambulance Service has revealed the most inappropriate calls made to 999 in the past year.

Among them was someone who had eaten a mouldy tomato and someone who had got their plaster cast wet.

Advertisement

One person with an earring lodged inside their ear asked for a “lift” to the Emergency Department, while another dialled 999 for a papercut.

Of the 470,653 incidents recorded by the service in the last 12 months, nearly a quarter were non-essential, including someone with diarrhoea and someone enquiring about their medication.

In the face of unprecedented demand, the ambulance service is reminding people only to call 999 in a serious or life-threatening emergency.

Chief Executive Jason Killens said: “Our ambulance service exists to help people who are seriously ill or injured, or where there is an immediate threat to their life.

“That’s people who’ve stopped breathing, people with chest pain or breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, choking, severe allergic reactions, catastrophic bleeding or someone who is having a stroke.

Advertisement

“People with something stuck in their ear still have a clinical need, but calling 999 for that is ill-judged when there are so many other ways to access more appropriate help.

“Non-essential calls represent nearly a quarter of our total 999 calls, and time spent dealing with these could be time spent helping someone in a life or death situation.”

As Covid-19 tightens is grip, the Trust is asking the public to think about the many alternatives to 999.

Director of Operations Lee Brooks said: “Winter is traditionally our busiest period, and we also have a global pandemic to contend with.

“It’s easy to make fun of the people who call 999 foolishly, but actually, these people do have a legitimate clinical need – they just don’t know where to turn for it.

Advertisement

“We’re asking the public to educate themselves on the NHS services available in their area, of which there are many.

“The symptom checkers on the NHS 111 Wales website are a good place to start for advice and information, or you could phone 111 to speak to a nurse or health information advisor.

“Also think about your local pharmacist, dentist and optician, as well as your minor injuries unit and GP.

“Also ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for things which can be treated at home, like coughs and colds, sore throats and grazed knees.

“Every single one of us has a responsibility to use NHS services wisely and protect them for those who need them most.

Advertisement

“Help us to help you, and think twice before you call 999.”

Real calls to the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2021

The following are real 999 calls made to the Welsh Ambulance Service in the past year –

Caller: Basically, I had a piercing a few weeks ago in my ear. Everything’s been fine but last night I woke up and the piercing had gone. I can’t find the piercing and it feels like it might be in my ear drum.
Operator: Right, OK.
Caller: Normally I would go to A&E myself but I don’t actually have any money. A lift to A&E would be amazing.

Caller: My neighbour came here and she gave me a sandwich, cheese and tomato. Anyway, I feel quite sick now. I looked at the tomatoes and there’s mildew on them.
Operator: OK, is that why you’re requiring an ambulance?

Caller: I was mucking about with my plaster cast and it’s coming apart. I don’t know whether to get a taxi or an ambulance.
Operator: From the information you’ve given, you require a more detailed assessment by a nurse. An ambulance will not be sent at this time.
Caller: Oh, you’re joking. Are you being serious?
Operator: We’re extremely busy at the moment.
Caller: I’ll get a taxi.

Advertisement

Caller: I cut my arm, my arm’s cut.
Operator: How did you do that?
Caller: I sliced it on a piece of paper.
Operator: When did this happen?
Caller: About half an hour ago.
Operator: Is there any serious bleeding?
Caller: No.

Operator: Tell me exactly what’s happened.
Caller: Basically, my mum drank apple vinegar but mixed it with water and lemon. Now she has diarrhoea.

Caller: Oh, hi there. Basically, I’ve got my hand in a cast. It’s been in there for three weeks and I’ve got it wet.
Operator: OK.
Caller: It’s not an actual emergency, I just need to get to hospital.

Caller: What it is, right, I’ve got different medication and I don’t know whether I can take these or not now.
Operator: What’s your telephone number?
Caller: I don’t want an ambulance, I just don’t know if I can take my meds or not.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Christmas

Christmas Day ambulance workers to enjoy festive lunch thanks to generous businesses

Published

on

By

Welsh Ambulance Service staff working on Christmas Day will be able to enjoy a traditional festive lunch thanks to the generosity of pubs and restaurants across Wales.

Hospitality businesses from every corner of the country have stepped in, many free of charge, to feed more than 500  colleagues working a day shift at all our  ambulance stations, contact centres and make ready depots.

Advertisement

The goodwill gesture brings a welcome slice of normality for those away from their families and friends on Christmas Day.

Judith Bryce, the Trust’s Assistant Director of Operations (National Operations and Support), said: “We operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year which means many of our colleagues  will miss the bulk of Christmas Day at home with loved ones whilst on duty.

“We are extremely grateful to all of the businesses who have come forward once again to provide meals – especially after another challenging pandemic year where this gesture continues to mean a lot to us as a service and to individuals.”

Hampers being prepared by the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (Image: WAST)

Also this year, the Trust is preparing and delivering hampers filled with festive treats to all of its stations, premises and contact centres.

In partnership with local delivery firms, 164 baskets of favourites such as mince pies, chocolates, hot drinks and crisps will be distributed across the country, funded once again through the Trust’s Charitable Funds.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News