Patient-Administered Pain-Killer Saves Time & Resources In Emergency Departments

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Inhaled Analgesic Increases Speed Of Discharge Time Per Patient By 71 Minutes On Average Compared To Conventional Therapy

A recent study has revealed that Penthrox▼(methoxyflurane) can save more than one hour per procedure in hospital emergency departments on average — allowing more patients to be seen and potentially saving money for the NHS.1

Penthrox has been widely used in Australia and New Zealand for many years. However, it is used in fewer than half of UK emergency departments, mainly due to unfamiliarity with the treatment amongst staff.

Now researchers from St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, have found that the non-opioid medicine, which is self-administered under the supervision of a person trained in its administration, can save 71 minutes on average in treating appropriate emergency department (ED) patients, compared to usual pain-killing techniques, with the added benefit of saving up to 50% on the cost of treatment per patient depending on the type of trauma injury.1

The results echo recent findings from other hospitals which show that patients treated with methoxyflurane spend significantly less time in ED compared to those treated with standard care.2,3

These results come at a time when the NHS is facing exceptional pressure and demonstrate how the use of Penthrox as a first-line analgesic for appropriate patients can free up resources including staff and equipment required to treat patients compared with standard treatments

Over the course of six months, the researchers, supported by A&E Consultant Dr George Bailey, looked at the length of stay in the Emergency Department for patients with moderate or severe trauma pain who received methoxyflurane compared with those who received standard care.1

Adult patients with moderate to severe trauma pain and Glasgow Coma Score of 15 were included in the evaluation.

Patients in both the methoxyflurane and standard care cohorts were matched for analytical purposes based on patient characteristics, including age group, gender and injury type, and previous medical history, in order to limit any potential for bias.

There were particular gains for patients suffering from a dislocated shoulder, where methoxyflurane patients saved over three hours in treatment time.1

The study, published today in the journal Advances in Therapy, also examined the different treatment costs and concluded that methoxyflurane may save up to 50% on the cost of treatment per patient, depending on the type of trauma injury.1

The researchers explained that Penthrox can negate the need for procedural sedation, which requires an intravenous line into the arm, a resus bed — which are often not immediately free — and also requires the time of three staff to carry out the procedure.

By contrast, Penthrox could be administered in a chair or on a trolley and only required one — two staff members depending on the procedure, as Penthrox is self-administered by the patient.

The researchers commented: “Long waiting times, slow discharge times and overcrowding are affecting almost every ED in the UK, and the situation does not show any signs of significant improvement at present.”

They concluded: “This evaluation demonstrated that the early use of methoxyflurane can positively impact length of stay within EDs and provide effective pain relief for patients.”

Commenting on the findings, Dr George Bailey said: “During our evaluation the use of Penthrox was well received by our staff and patients.’

“Being able to offer early fast-acting pain relief is essential and we were pleased to find the additional benefit of reducing time patients spent in the ED compared to standard care.”

Dr Dennise Broderick,
President & Managing Director,
Galen

Dr Dennise Broderick, Managing Director and President of Galen (who market Penthrox in the UK) added: “We all know the immense pressures facing trauma services in the UK, exacerbated in these exceptional circumstances.’

“We welcome these latest findings, which reinforce what has already been long accepted in other parts of the world — that Penthrox can help improve the throughput of patients in A&E departments by offering an effective means of pain control for patients that is simple to use and fast-acting.’

“We’re committed to providing education to help hospital teams make use of this particular innovation in the coming weeks and months.”

Penthrox consists of a green-coloured tube containing a fixed measure of methoxyflurane and can be self-administered by patients.

It can provide up to 60 minutes of pain relief per treatment.4

As a single-use product that requires no canisters, additional breathing masks or tubes and is disposed of after patient use via a sealable plastic bag, it greatly minimises the potential of inadvertently spreading infection across a department or between buildings.

References

  1. Young L, Bailey G, McKinley J. Service evaluation of methoxyflurane versus standard care for overall management of patients with pain due to injury. Adv Ther 2020.
  2. Umana E, et al.Inhaled methoxyflurane for the reduction of acute anterior shoulder dislocation in the emergency department. CJEM2019:21(4): 468-472
  3. Gangadharan L. Penthrox in the ED –is it worth the hype? Presented at The Royal College of Emergency Medicine Spring CPD meeting. April 2019
  4. Penthrox (methoxyflurane) Inhalation Product Information. December 2018 https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1939/smpc.
  5. Coffey F, Wright J, Hartshorn S et al. STOP!: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of methoxyflurane for the treatment of acute pain. Emerg Med J2014; 31(8):613–618. https://doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2013-202909.
  6. Mercadante S, Voza A, Serra S, et al. Analgesic Efficacy, Practicality and Safety of Inhaled Methoxyflurane Versus Standard Analgesic Treatment for Acute Trauma Pain in the Emergency Setting: A Randomised, Open-Label, Active-Controlled, Multicentre Trial in Italy (MEDITA). Adv Ther 2019; 36(11):3030-3046.

AA & LAS Announce Ground-Breaking Partnership To Keep Frontline Crews Moving

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The AA has partnered with London Ambulance Service to provide additional expert support to help the Service keep clinicians on the road responding to Londoners in need during the coronavirus epidemic.

The partnership includes 24-hour breakdown and incident management services such as roadside assistance and vehicle recovery for London Ambulance Service vehicles.

Working with the team of skilled mechanics from London Ambulance Service, the AA teams will provide immediate technical support for the Service’s fleet of more than 500 ambulances and 70 fast response cars.

Forty-one AA patrols have been sent to the twelve London Ambulance Service workshops across the capital to work alongside the Service’s fleet workshop teams providing additional mechanical support and breakdown recovery and keeping vehicles ready to respond.

Garrett Emmerson, London Ambulance Service chief executive said: “We are very grateful for the support of the AA as the country faces the biggest public health challenge in generations — one that is putting unprecedented strain on our Service.’

“Our staff and volunteers are working harder than ever to provide life-saving care to Londoners.’

Garrett Emmerson,
Chief Executive, LAS

“This partnership will help our fleet and workshop teams make sure crews can get back out on the road and continue to reach those patients that need us most.”

Edmund King, AA president said: “We are proud to play our part supporting the vital ambulance services in London during this crisis.’

“This is an unprecedented situation and we’ve all got to pull together to ease the pressure on our emergency services and the NHS.’

“We would be delighted to offer a similar service to the other ambulance services across the UK.

Edmund King,
President, The AA

“We’re still here to keep key workers and members on the move, but urge motorists to heed government advice and only travel when it’s essential.”

The AA provides breakdown services to several ambulance services across the country and is working to roll out further support schemes to keep the UK’s emergency services moving during COVID-19.

The AA has also secured a deal with its parts supplier, Euro Car Parts, to provide mechanical parts for ambulance service at cost.

This supplier will not profit from any sales to the ambulance service throughout the crisis.

To read about the AA’s actions during COVID-19 see theaa.com/about-us/coronavirus-covid-19

Your Ambulance Service Needs You

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At a time when the country is pulling together to tackle the Corona Virus outbreak, West Midlands Ambulance Service is putting out an appeal to registered paramedics who live in the region to re-join the Service in order to help treat the increasing numbers of patients.

WMAS has already significantly increased its capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients, but we want to go further still to ensure we can provide care to patients in their hour of need and save as many lives as possible.

As a result, we are looking for any paramedics who retired within the last two years or are working in the private sector for the likes of events medical companies who would like to come back into the NHS family to get in touch.

We have also had former members of staff contact us who went on a career break to look after children, offering to come back, which we welcome.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Over the last couple of years, we know that several hundred staff have retired from our service after giving many years of outstanding care to the public.’

“We would like those paramedics to consider returning to WMAS so that we can increase the quality and amount of care that we can provide the public in these challenging times.’

“Equally, we have already had a number of paramedics who normally provide medical cover at events such as horse racing come to us to offer their services, for which we are very grateful.’

“We want to boost the number of paramedics we have available as much as possible, so re-employing former paramedics and those who work in the private sector who would like to join us makes sense.’

“Across our country we have seen how much we are all pulling together, from the astonishing scene last Thursday during ‘The Big Clap’ through to the amazing generosity of companies and individuals towards our staff; now we want to go one step further by increasing the number of paramedics to boost our ability to care for patients even further.’

“For those who have retired; I know how much the time you spent with us meant to you; many of you have told me that when we have spoken.’

“I wouldn’t ask you to re-join if I didn’t think it was the right thing for the public of the West Midlands and our country.”

Those who would like to join the Service either on a short term or long term basis are invited to apply via NHS Jobs (www.jobs.nhs.uk) and look out for Job Reference: 217-VN488-19-20

Over 1,000 People & Hundreds Of Students Want To Help Save Lives

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In just three days, over 1,000 people applied to become a lifesaver in the West Midlands.

Together with hundreds of students, West Midlands Ambulance Service is enacting unprecedented plans to protect the public and save lives.

In these extraordinary times that face our country, we have put extensive plans that will see a substantial increase in staff numbers and upskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they can help the public.

Over recent weeks, we have increased the number of call assessors in both our 999 and 111 control rooms, but last weekend we asked for applications to increase that number further.

In just 72 hours, over 1,000 people had applied.

We are now fast tracking those applications with dozens of interviews held yesterday with more taking place on Friday.

In addition, the Trust has been working with our local university partners (Staffordshire, Coventry, Worcester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City) to recruit around 200 third year paramedic students. 

These are students who are just weeks away from qualifying and have spent thousands of hours on our ambulances, working with our staff, treating patients.  They are very well trained and experienced already.

All of them will work with fully qualified paramedics and technicians on the road. 

As of Monday, this has allowed us to double the number of ambulances operating from our Bromsgrove Hub, where we have gone from 20 crews a day to 40.

A further 130 Year 2 university graduate paramedics have also been taken on to work as assistants to our vehicle preparation operatives; the staff who play a vital role cleaning and re-stocking our ambulances which allows our clinical staff to spend more time treating patients.

This will double our capacity at a time when this role has never been more important.

Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “We are receiving huge support from our university students who are desperate to do their part to help the nation at this time.’

“Many are already very familiar to our staff and the response we have had from the team at Bromsgrove has been incredible with the students made to feel very welcome.’

“These students would have qualified over the next few weeks as HCPC registered paramedics so are a tremendous asset for us and I have no doubt that they will help to save many lives over the coming weeks.’

“I am incredibly proud of the students and also our staff for doing the right thing to help patients.”

Our existing staff are also playing their part. With the number of non-emergency appointments significantly reduced, 320 of our patient transport service staff have agreed to undertake additional training so that we can significantly increase our ability to transport GP patient referrals, hospital discharges and low acuity patients where appropriate using strict protocols.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We are dealing with a Global Pandemic and a National Emergency.  COVID-19 presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation.’

“I am committed to doing everything necessary to protect the public and save lives. Seeing the lengths that our staff are going to, to help people has never made me feel prouder to lead such an organisation.’

“We have taken difficult decisions in recent weeks and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure we protect the 999 service, but it is vital that the public help us.’

“The message is clear, Stay at home; Protect the NHS; Save lives. Anyone can spread the virus so:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

New National Dispatch Centre Opened To Treat Humanitarian Emergencies in Israel

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The Israel Association of Community Centers and Lev Echad have partnered with United Hatzalah of Israel and launched a new national dispatch center managing 30,000 volunteers who will provide assistance to humanitarian emergencies across Israel.

The new partnership has given birth to the largest humanitarian aid group currently operating in Israel. 

The mission of the new dispatch center and resulting conglomerate, which launched on Wednesday evening, will be to send volunteers to help the elderly, people with disabilities, or those stuck in home isolation as quickly as possible.

The initiative, which is being dubbed, “1221 Assistance for All”, will be using technology developed by United Hatzalah to locate the closest volunteers based on the GPS on their phones and alert them to the humanitarian emergency in their proximity.

The initiative, which was made possible by financial assistance from the Marius and Inbar Necht Foundation, has received approval and praise from the Minister of Defence Naftali Bennett who promised support from his ministry.

The Ministry for Social Equality will also be forwarding requests for help which it receives.

The emergency number for the new dispatch centre is the same as United Hatzalah’s regular number of 1221.

Humanitarian calls will be immediately routed to dispatchers who received specialised training from all three organisations that focused on catering to the needs of the people who may be calling in.

In addition to regular phone calls, dispatchers will be handling calls in sign-language via video chat. The dispatch centre will be open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.six days a week. 

All of the volunteers who registered to participate in the initiative have been outfitted with a specialised phone application that will allow the dispatch system to immediately notify the five closest responders to a humanitarian emergency.

Dispatchers will also be contacting those closest to the emergency and ask that they respond and provide the assistance needed. 

The assistance will include medical aid provided by trained United Hatzalah EMS personnel for those who are injured or sick, prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

Logistical assistance in picking up and dropping off medicine, medical supplies, food, and immediate arrival of a volunteer to all those requesting aid.

Emotional support for the elderly and those stuck due to Covid-19 regulations including phone support for those stuck in home isolation or quarantine. Lastly, the combined force of volunteers will provide assistance to those with disabilities.  

Vice President of Operations of United Hatzalah Dov Maisel explained what prompted the initiative: “During the current crisis taking place in Israel, United Hatzalah volunteers are still responding to medical emergencies across Israel.’

“As an organisation that serves the public, we were unable to stay complacent in the face of what we recognised as a rising humanitarian crisis of national proportions.’

“Numerous segments of the population are suffering as a result of the current crisis due to the dramatic shift of lifestyle now being forced upon us all.’

“We decided to mobilise together with our partners and provide a country-wide network of volunteers that will provide aid to the elderly, people with disabilities and others in need of assistance due to isolation.’

“We have revamped our dispatch centre in order to use it for the new initiative and opened a completely new centre of operations as well as adapting our specialised phone application to incorporate the rest of the volunteers who will be participating in the program.”

General Manager of the Israel Association of Community Centres, Raz Frohlich said: “The Israel Association of Community Centres of Israel, in conjunction with the local and regional councils, manages the largest volunteer system in Israel that numbers close to 30,000 pensioners, adults, and teenagers from all segments of Israeli society.’

“There are more than 1,000 locations that make up the heart of our association that are active both on a  regular basis and during emergencies.’

“Together with United Hatzalah and Lev Echad, we will now be providing emergency humanitarian response while strengthening the resiliency of each of these communities during this time of emergency.’

“In addition, we will be focusing on building the community resources necessary for when this situation finally comes to an end.”

Chairman of Lev Echad, Erez Eschel added: “Lev Echad has in the past assisted leading organisations during times of emergency, including Ayalim, HaShomer HaChadash, Pre-Military Academies, to create community coordinators and bridge the gap between the needs of a community and the organisations that are providing assistance.’

“In partnering together with United Hatzalah and the Israel Association of Community Centres, we will work towards providing an emergency humanitarian response to the majority of the needs of the Israeli populace and we will plant the seeds of the foundations needed for after this situation subsides.” 

YourParkingSpace Launches Free Parking For NHS Workers At Over 900 Car Parks Nationwide

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YourParkingSpace, the UK’s leading on-demand parking platform, is pleased to announce a campaign to provide NHS workers with free parking across the UK.

Via registering on YourParkingSpace, NHS workers will be provided with a unique code enabling them to use their NHS credentials to reserve spaces in over 900 car parks throughout the country.

There are 943 car parks available to book free of charge, comprised of shopping centres, hotels and supermarkets, with many located near health facilities.

Included are Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre near Leeds General Infirmary and Holiday Inn Express Derby near the London Road Community Hospital.

YourParkingSpace is in ongoing discussions with its network of space owners and will continue to update its website and Twitter page with additional places to park. It intends to extend the scheme to other key services workers over the coming weeks.

Please visit www.yourparkingspace.co.uk/nhs-parking for more information on how to use the service and the location of car parks.

HArrison Woods, CEO & founder,
YourParkingSpace

Harrison Woods, Chief Executive Officer of YourParkingSpace said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s important that we do what we can to help.’

“With reduced public transport in many places and increased movement of health workers, we’re pleased to be working alongside supermarkets, shopping centres and hotels to assist key workers in this small way.’

“We plan to add new spaces to the platform every day — hopefully it’s something that helps to make things easier for NHS staff and other key services workers.”

Glasgow Travel Retailer Donates 5,000 (£125K) Compression Socks To Help Frontline Scots Nurses

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The Glasgow online travel retailer, Trtl, have donated 5,000 pairs of compression socks to help Scots nurses combat Covid-19, despite having seen sales drop by 95 per cent within the past two weeks.

The generous donation is worth a total of £125,000 and the colourful knee-length socks will help 5,000 acute nurses in six hospitals across Scotland fight fatigue in the coming weeks.

In addition to this, the firm has pledged to give away a further 5,000 in the next seven days to nurses in ​London​, bringing the total to 10,000 (£250,000).

Trtl (pronounced ‘turtle’) have donated compression socks each to acute nurses at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Royal Alexandra Hospital (Paisley)​ and the ​Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan, — each hospital receiving a total of 1,000 pairs to share out.

In addition, nurses at ​The Royal Edinburgh Hospital​ will take a further 1,000 while Trtl has given 500 to nurses at ​Dundee’s​​ Ninewells Hospital​ and 500 to ​Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The award-winning company, which employs 30 people in Glasgow, had stockpiled thousands of the socks in advance of its peak summer season.

But with sales stalling due to the Covid-19 pandemic and little prospect of travel bans being rescinded any time soon, ​CEO Michael Corrigan​ decided to use them to support frontline nurses in his home city, across Scotland and in worst-hit London instead.

He explained: “Although the compression socks have been most popular with airline travellers, at the start of this year we ran a small campaign with nurses around the world and they were really happy with them.’

“Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about how we can contribute in what is the biggest crisis many of us will face in our lifetimes.’

“When something like this happens it very rapidly puts things into perspective. Nurses across the UK will be tested as never before in the coming weeks and if we can do something to help make the time they spend on their feet more comfortable, we must.’

“I couldn’t just see these socks sitting in a warehouse when they could be helping people saving lives. That’s what’s important, and nurses need all the help they can get just now.”

John Stuart is the chief nurse at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.​ He said: “We are under no illusions about what we are going to face in the weeks to come.’

“Our nurses work incredibly hard and can spend hours and hours on the move during every shift.’

“With these compression socks we can help our staff alleviate some of the discomfort and aches associated with being on your feet for long periods of time and help them better face the challenges that are coming our way with Covid-19.’

“Any gesture like this can help boost morale and hopefully the colourful designs willhelp brighten the days of our nursing staff.”

A ​2015 study​ found that the average NHS worker walks 3.6 miles a day with some recording up to 11 miles.

Nurses regularly work 12-hour shifts and wearing compression socks reduces leg soreness, swollen ankles and varicose veins.

Established in 2013, Trtl is majority-owned-and-run by founder Michael Corrigan (32), who was born on Glasgow’s south side.

He added: “This may be the biggest challenge we will ever face as a generation and how we react as individuals and collectively could define us in the years to come.”

Best known for its ​Trtl Travel Pillow​, which has sold 1.6M worldwide, Trtl sells a range of travel items from compression socks to packing pods.

Most of its products are bought online through ​trtltravel.com​ and retailers such as Amazon. The company, which won Small Exporter of the Year at the Scottish Export Awards in 2018, is expert at using social media and messaging apps to drive sales.

St John Ambulance Volunteers Head for Nightingale Hospital To Join Fight Against COVID-19

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St John Ambulance volunteers will work shoulder to shoulder with the NHS and armed forces at the new Nightingale Hospital. 

A call for up to 200 first aiders per day from the nation’s leading health and first aid charity to work in London’s ExCel centre, has seen more than 750 volunteers step forward this week to support this facility and others, nationally. 

They are now being selected and given further training, ready to start work caring for coronavirus patients at the temporary hospital from Wednesday (April 1). 

Richard Lee, Chief Operating Officer,
St John Ambulance

“The dedication of St John Ambulance volunteers inspires me every day, but our people’s response to this national emergency is extraordinary — my colleagues have been overwhelmed by their willingness to step forward and support the NHS,” said the charity’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Lee. 

“The clinical skills, resilience and compassion of St John volunteers really matter in a challenging situation like this and we are grateful for their commitment.’

“In the coming weeks and months, St John Ambulance will face extraordinary demands, the likes of which our organisation has not faced in peacetime.’

“Our resources will be stretched, and our people will be tested, but we will stop at nothing to help beat this virus.” 

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England,
Executive/National Director at NHS England & NHS Improvement

St John volunteers will work day and night in shifts of 100 people at a time, supporting nurses, looking after COVID-19 patients as they undergo treatment, rehabilitation and during their recovery.  

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England said: “We cannot win this battle against the virus alone, and while our amazing NHS and social care staff are pulling out all the stops to treat more patients with coronavirus, and prepare for the surge in cases we know is coming, I am delighted that St John volunteers are going to be standing alongside our army of workers at the new Nightingale Hospital, London.’

“But given the scale of the task ahead we cannot have too many doctors, nurses or other health care staff, so if you have left the NHS, and would like to play your part in supporting colleagues in their time of need, it is not too late, your NHS still needs you.” 

Meanwhile, St John Ambulance is sending teams of volunteers to hospital emergency departments, and the charity’s ambulances and highly trained crews are being put at the health service’s disposal, all over England. 

The charity — which has been around for more than 140 years — has around 8,500 available health volunteers, and provides the nation’s auxiliary ambulance service. 

More St John volunteers will join frontline operations supporting the NHS as the charity upskills more than 1,000 of its volunteers through an unprecedented push on training activity, over the next few days, and people take four weeks off work to join the fight against COVID-19. 

St John is also working on fast tracking more people with existing first aid qualifications and clinical skills into the organisation, with more details to be announced shortly. 

For more information on St John Ambulance’s work, health advice and the charity’s current fundraising appeal visit

www.sja.org.uk  

MDA Recieves New Corona Ambulance Ambulance With Airtight Separation Between Driver’s Cab & Passenger Compartment

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Magen David Adom announced on Sunday a first-of-its-kind solution that will address medical teams and the ambulance driver, with the goal of preventing them from being exposed to Corona patients.

The first 50 ambulances from all over the country have been outfitted and another 70 will be outfitted in the coming days.

The complete separation of MDA ambulances between the driver’s cabin and the patient’s cabin was carried out in collaboration with IDF unit 81.

The Sealed Separation Ambulance is designed to evacuate mild Corona patients who need to be evacuated to continue treatment in a designated location. Thus, the driver remains isolated from the verified patients and not exposed to the Corona virus.

It should be noted that the separation exists only in designated ambulances for Corona  patients who are in mild condition and who do not need medical treatment during the evacuation.

The separation was carried out by installing metal walls that are bolted from the ceiling to the floor, creating a complete seal and complete isolation between the driver’s compartment and the passenger compartment.

A separate, opaque window is added to the separation wall, allowing the driver to see the passenger compartment and make eye contact with the paramedic in it, if necessary. 

The ambulance driver and medical team located in the back of the separated ambulance will be able to communicate using a microphone.

According to MDA, if the pilot program expands then the separation walls could be installed in up to ten ambulances daily, thus protecting drivers and crews from exposure to Corona patients.

The airflow in the rear of the ambulance will be exterior and different from that of the driver, in the front of the vehicle.

MDA Director General Eli Bin said about the new ambulances: “In these difficult days, when medical staff work days and nights to help patients and care for Corona patients, we must do everything we can to provide safeguards and isolation to teams, to prevent infection and their stoppage.’

“We will review and launch the pilot as soon as possible, to further expand it to additional vehicles, which will enable us to deliver life-saving, fast and dedicated care — while maintaining the health and well being of our providers.”

Air Ambulance KSS Rated Outstanding In All 5 Key Lines Of Enquiry By CQC

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Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) across all five of its inspection key lines of enquiry — a level only achieved by a very small proportion of the UK’s CQC-inspected healthcare organisations.

It is the first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service to achieve this top rating in all categories/ key lines of enquiry.

Inspectors rated KSS, a registered charity, as outstanding for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led — the five key areas which form the framework of the inspection.

Whilst KSS has been registered since 2011, this is this first time the regulations have allowed the CQC to give a rating.

The CQC report highlights a wide range of outstanding practices at KSS including the service’s ‘strong leadership’, ‘thoroughly patient focused team,’ ‘open culture to reporting all types of incidents,’ ‘highly motivated staff’ and ‘strong, comprehensive systems and processes.’

KSS’s collaboration with local, national and international partner organisations to help improve services to patients was also singled out.

Inspectors praised KSS’s engagement with its partners such as local NHS trusts and the Ministry of Defence.

They also noted that the continuing development of staff skills, competence and knowledge was ‘integral to ensuring high quality care’.

All staff were ‘actively involved in activities to monitor and improve quality and outcomes’ and there was a focus on ‘openness, transparency and learning.’

David Welch, CEO, Air Ambulance KSS

The inspectors were impressed by KSS’s continual focus on the ‘safe use of innovative and pioneering approaches to care.’

This included the service’s research into new methods of treatments and innovative ways to make patient information more easily available to all staff providing care in order to deliver more efficient and cohesive treatment and care of patients.

Commenting, David Welch, Chief Executive of KSS, said: “Receiving an outstanding rating from the CQC across the board is testament to the dedication and commitment of our exceptional team, who work tirelessly to ensure the right treatments and best possible outcomes for our patients.’

“My sincere thanks go to every single member of Team KSS – staff, volunteers, partners and stakeholders — all of whom have contributed to this amazing achievement.”

“I am incredibly proud and privileged to lead our outstanding team who show an exceptional commitment to our patients and to supporting one another ‘the KSS Way’ with people at the heart of everything we do.’

Dr Helen Bowcock, Chair, Air Ambulance KSS

“Our health service is currently faced with an unprecedented challenge and we are exploring new ways that we can best deploy our experience, expertise and resources to support the NHS and the wider community at such a critical time.”

Dr Helen Bowcock, Chair of the Board of Trustees, added: “As a Board we congratulate our teams for receiving so many commendations including on our open and collaborative culture, our holistic approach to care and the cohesion throughout our organisation.’

“We were honoured to receive a visit from HRH The Princess Royal in February to mark our 30th anniversary and now have the honour of being rated Outstanding by the CQC.” 

Dr Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (London & South), CQC

Dr Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (London and South), said: “The service has a vision for what it wanted to achieve and a strategy to turn it into an action, developed with all relevant stakeholders.’

“Feedback from people who use the service was continually positive about the way staff treat people; they thought that staff went the extra mile and the care they received exceeded their expectations.”

Philip Astle, CEO of South East Coast Ambulance Foundation Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud to be a partner of KSS and the fact that the CQC have rated them so highly is absolutely no surprise to those of us who work closely with them.’

“They are a team full of people who strive for excellence, are innovative, enthusiastic and tireless in their search to improve patient care.’

Philip Astle, CEO, SECAmb

“They are fantastic partners who always seek to maximise the effect of that partnership rather than seek organisational gain.”

Operating out of Redhill Aerodrome and headquartered in Rochester, KSS provides world-leading pre-hospital emergency care whenever and wherever required to save lives and to enable the best possible patient outcomes. Covering Kent, Surrey and Sussex, KSS serves a population of 4.8 million plus those who travel through the area — one of the busiest in the UK.’

“Its crews of pilots, doctors and paramedics fly over 2,500 missions a year, and it was the first, and only, UK Air Ambulance to operate its helicopters 24/7. ‘

“Of the more than £14m needed to sustain the service each year, 89% is raised by public donation and fundraising.’

The CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social services in England. The inspection was carried out at KSS’s Redhill Aerodrome premises in January 2020.

A copy of the CQC report is available at www.cqc.org.uk