ERS Medical Provides Medical Courier Services for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT)

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National health and social care transport provider, ERS Medical, has been awarded a contract to provide medical courier services for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

The pharmacy-led contract is being delivered by ERS Medical from 1st March 2021 to over 100 locations across Essex.

ERS safely delivering Diagnostic Specimens

It involves the use of specialist temperature controlled ERS Medical vehicles collecting and delivering pharmaceuticals, controlled drugs, specimens, and internal post to specified sites under the EPUT region.

Mark Merriman, Head of Operations at ERS Medical, said: “We’re delighted to support Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and provide this service across their sites.’

“The contract provides a vital delivery of important specimens, drugs and internal post across various Trust locations.’

“We look forward to working with them and forming a strong partnership.”

As an integrated healthcare transport solution, ERS Medical supports the NHS with a reliable and caring service.

See www.ersmedical.co.uk for more information.

Scholarship for Exceptional Nurse Studying With London’s Air Ambulance Charity

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Earlier this month, shortly before International Women’s Day on March 8th, London’s Air Ambulance Charity celebrated the achievements of Mariana Campilho, a nurse undertaking the Masters degree in Pre-Hospital Medicine.

Mariana, who lives in East London, has been granted a prestigious award through The Company of Nurses Scholarship Programme to assist with her studies on the Masters (MSc) degree run by the Institute of Pre-Hospital Care (IoPHC), a department within with London’s Air Ambulance Charity.

The course is delivered in partnership with Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The scholarship recognises the outstanding contribution Mariana has made to the nursing profession and represents an investment in the future of patient care, as she embarks on the three-year course.

Speaking about the Scholarship, Mariana said: “I applied for The Company of Nurses Scholarship as I wanted the opportunity of being able to study in an area that I am truly passionate about, and to be one of the first nurses doing so made it even more special.’

Mariana Camphilo

“I was delighted and felt it an enormous privilege to be awarded the Scholarship, especially as I am aware of the high standard of the other applicants.’

“I am looking forward to being able to study along different professionals all equally dedicated to the area of prehospital care and to be able to learn from different experts in the field.”

Mariana began the MSc course in January 2021, the first cohort to include nurses, and she also works as a Nurse in the Emergency Department at The Royal London Hospital.

Before this, Mariana completed a secondment with the Physician Response Unit (PRU), a community emergency medicine service which attends emergency calls in people’s homes.

The PRU is a joint collaboration between London’s Air Ambulance, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and Barts Health NHS Trust. Responding to 999 calls, the PRU specialises in taking the Emergency Department to the patient, thereby reducing risks for vulnerable patients by helping them avoid a trip to hospital.

Brenda Griffiths, Chair of the Company of Nurses Charitable Trust said: “The Trustees are delighted to be able to support London’s Air Ambulance and this MSc programme with a Company of Nurses Scholarship.’

“Emergency out of hospital care is critical, specialist, and complex. We know that Mariana and those in her care will benefit greatly and look forward to hearing all about it as the course progresses”.

The Company of Nurses, which aims to raise standards of nursing care, encourage health and wellbeing, and save lives, has offered the scholarship through its Ann Campbell RBNA Memorial Fund, which supports a student with the payment of their tuition fees for the MSc in Pre-Hospital Medicine over the next three years.

The part-time MSc in Pre-Hospital Medicine was launched in 2019 through the Charity’s IoPHC and is specifically for doctors, paramedics and nurses who practice in emergency settings (particularly in pre-hospital medicine) and who wish to become better practitioners in their roles.  

Now recruiting for its third year, the MSc is a practice-based course taught in face to face ‘teaching pods’, helping to nurture and develop talent and continue leading the way in pre-hospital emergency medicine education.

ERS Medical Wins Patient Transport Contract for University Hospital of North Midlands Trust (UHNM)

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Following a comprehensive procurement process, national health and social care transport provider ERS Medical has been awarded a patient transport contract for University Hospital of North Midlands Trust (UHNM).

The four-year contract will see ERS Medical provide non-emergency and high dependency patient transport services covering Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent and County Hospital in Stafford.

Starting on 1st June 2021, the service will transport 12,000 patients each year. Patients will be of varying clinical acuities, ranging from time critical and unstable patients who require intensive care to patients who are stable, but still requiring hospital treatment.

University Hospital of North Midlands Trust (UHNM) Trust. Photo credit: UHNM Trust

Andrew Pooley, Managing Director at ERS Medical said: “We’re delighted to win this contract for UHNM. At ERS, we focus on delivering a quality service to our NHS clients that is centred around patient care and experience.’

Andrew Pooley, Managing Director,
ERS Medical

“Securing this contract demonstrates our continued commitment to this unwavering focus and we look forward to working closely with the Trust.”

Claire Mackirdy, UHNM Director of Operations – County & Community, says: “UHNM are looking forward to working in partnership with ERS ensuring a high quality service for our patients.”

ERS Medical is the UK’s leading health and social care transport provider. As an integrated healthcare transport solution, the business supports the NHS with a reliable and caring service.

See www.ersmedical.co.uk for more information.

National Health and Wellbeing Raises More Than £15,000 for Frontline Charities

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A month-long charity campaign, which aimed to boost the nation’s health and wellbeing, has come to an end — raising a total of over £15,000 for The Ambulance Staff Charity, Police Care UK, The Fire Fighters Charity and The Air Ambulance Service.

Launched in January, the Blue Light Get Active Challenge, tasked individuals with clocking up as many miles, steps or minutes of physical activity or mindfulness exercises as they could, to raise important funds and boost morale during the national lockdown.

Leading emergency services discount provider, Blue Light Card, and wellbeing organisation Get Active, supported the challenge and offered a state-of-the-art app for participants to log their activities — which included running, cycling and yoga — and see where they ranked against others in a leader board.

A total of around 400 participants got involved by either making a donation to their chosen charity or raising funds which were then split evenly between each of the four charities.

The money raised will support the work of all four emergency services charities who provide support for all who continue to work incredibly hard to keep Britain safe especially in the wake of COVID-19.
 
Cheryl from North Wales Police was the overall winner of the challenge, logging a total of 5,318 points, including 474 miles of walking and 57 miles of running, topping the leader board.

Commenting on the achievement, Cheryl said: “In the absence of actual running events due to these strange times, it was lovely to be able to take part in these activities — the bonus is that it’s for a good cause too!’

“Being part of this challenge kept my focus on a goal — with a superb medal at the end of it.”

Tom Dalby, CEO of Blue Light Card said: “Supporting emergency service teams has always been at the heart of what we do, and even more so after we’ve seen first-hand just how hard they’ve worked to keep us safe throughout 2020 and into 2021.’

“That’s why this campaign has been extra special for us.’

“Seeing people get involved and take up the chance to get active and practice mindfulness, especially when the weather has been testing, has been so great to see, and we hope it has inspired regular active routines within the blue light community and beyond.’

“Helping to raise over £15,000 for these four very worthy causes while supporting the great work these incredible charities do for our frontline workers and families is fantastic.”

David Kelly, director at Get Active Challenges also commented: “We’re thrilled with how well our first Blue Light Card campaign has gone, inspiring our emergency services to get out and get active, especially when they are working so incredibly hard through these challenging times we’re in.’

“We are hugely grateful for the £15,000 that has already been raised for four incredible blue light charities to provide their much-needed care and support for the emergency services who need them.”

For more information, visit https://getactivechallenges.com/bluelight/

DJ Swaps Decks for Defibrillator to Turn Volunteer for Welsh Ambulance Service

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A North Wales radio presenter has swapped the decks for a defibrillator by becoming a volunteer for the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Oli Kemp, one half of ‘Lois & Oli’ on Heart North and Mid Wales, has just completed his training as a Community First Responder so that he can administer life-saving first aid to people in his community.

Oli, originally from London, now living near Llangollen, Denbighshire, has had a long-held ambition to become a first responder, ever since the sudden death of his 20-month-old daughter in 2012.

Oli Kemp in (WAST) Community First Responder uniform

He explained how the COVID-19 pandemic presented a perfect opportunity to pursue his passion, saying: “I’ve always loved the idea of becoming a paramedic but my career as a radio presenter has never really allowed me to pursue it.’

“I think lockdown provided a lot of people with clarity on what they want to do, because you want to look back on your life and to have achieved something.’

“We moved to Wales seven years ago and the community has been very good to us. This is my way of paying something back.”

Oli’s daughter, Willow, was being treated for a chronic lung infection at Manchester Children’s Hospital in 2012 when she suffered a cardiac arrest and sadly died. It was this life-changing event which inspired Oli to think about a career in the ambulance service and which also compelled his wife to train as a nurse.

Oli said: “Willow is my main inspiration for doing this, and also my wife’s, who now works as a nurse at Denbigh Community Hospital. That period in our life had its challenges, but we also learnt a lot about the NHS and how it works.’

“The community we live in is very rural, and I imagine that sometimes it’s difficult for an ambulance to get there quickly.

“Anything I can do to help people in the time before the ambulance arrives will hopefully make a difference.”

Community First Responders are volunteers who attend 999 calls in their community and administer first aid in the precious first minutes before an ambulance arrives.

They are trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer first aid, including oxygen therapy and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as well as the use of a defibrillator.

Oli said: “It is a bit nerve-wracking, especially when I think about the prospect of attending my first cardiac arrest, but that’s why you do your training.

“The fact that I’m helping people in my own community means there’s some familiarity there, so that helps to take the edge off. I’ll fit the volunteering around the radio show, so will likely do mornings and weekends.’

“My colleagues at Heart are really proud of me; there was definitely some gentle ribbing when I told them I’d qualified, but they’re chuffed I’m doing something positive.”

Glyn Thomas, the Trust’s Alternative Responder Manager, said: “Every second counts is an emergency, and the role that first responders play in initiating that chain of survival can literally mean the difference between life or death.’

A group of new Community First Response volunteers from WAST

“Oli’s one of seven new volunteers to join the service in North Wales, and we’re pleased that he has turned a tragedy into something positive to help people in their hour of need.’

“The Covid-19 pandemic has meant we’ve had to think differently about the way we deliver training to volunteers, and Oli was part of a cohort of new recruits to complete a brand new training package, which included some e-learning.’

“We’re taking some time now to evaluate that training, so while we’re not recruiting volunteers right now, we look forward to opening our books again in the coming months.”

Glyn added: “Volunteering at the Welsh Ambulance Service has come a long way in the last two decades.’

“Our volunteers don’t just provide life-saving support at events such as cardiac arrests; they’re also trained to deal with a broader range of medical emergencies, including non-injured fallers.’

“There are new and exciting plans afoot as we further embrace our volunteers as part of the #TeamWAST family, and we extend a warm welcome to our new recruits, including Oli.”

You can learn more about the role of Community First Responders here at http://www.ambulance.wales.nhs.uk/en/96

Community Heartbeat Working With BT to Convert Kiosks to Defibrillator Stations

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Britain’s red phone boxes, once a lifeline of communication before the arrival of mobile phone networks, have been transformed into everything from defibrillator units and mini history museums to art galleries and book exchanges.

But now, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity (CHT), has begun to put an extraordinarily excellent idea into practice across the UK: converting the UK’s iconic, yet now inarguably redundant, red telephone booths (K6 kiosks, to those in the know) to a defibrillator station, and they’re currently in the process of converting around 1000 sites.

From Orkney to Cornwall, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity has worked with BT and local communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in local kiosks.

A converted kiosk in Denton, Lincolnshire

Martin Fagan, National Secretary for the Community Heartbeat Trust charity, said: “BT’s phone box kiosks are iconic British structures, and repurposing for this life saving use has given them a new lease of life.’

“To date, we have fully converted about 800, with another 200 underway.’

“Placing the equipment in the heart of a community is important to save on time.’

“Kiosks are historically at the centre of the community, and thus great locations for defibrillators.”

Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council.

CHT is also able to adopt on behalf of the communities as well. Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.

BT will also continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge.

Since 2008, over 6,600 phone boxes have been taken on by communities for just £1 each through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk programme.’

CHT is also converting the modern KX100 kiosks to defibrillator stations. For further information about how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk or to access application forms, simply go to www.bt.com/adopt .

Innovative Physician Response Unit Shortlisted as Finalist for the HSJ Value Awards 2021

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London’s Air Ambulance Charity, Barts NHS Health Trust, and the London Ambulance Service Trust (LAS) are delighted to announce that the Physician Response Unit (PRU) has been shortlisted for Urgent and Emergency Care Initiative of the Year at the HSJ Value Awards 2021.

This recognises the outstanding dedication they had given to making things better across their organisation during an extremely challenging year for the NHS.

The judging panel comprised a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. To be shortlisted as a finalist for these awards, despite tough competition from hundreds of brilliant applicants, is a mark of real achievement for the PRU.

The PRU has been selected based on their diligence, ambition and the positive impact that the teams have had across the three organisations and for patients. 

The PRU (Physician Response Unit from London’s Air Ambulance Charity, Barts NHS Health Trust, and LAS

The PRU is a collaboration between London’s Air Ambulance Charity, Barts Health NHS Trust and LAS. It is staffed by a senior emergency medicine doctor and an ambulance clinician, and carries advanced medication, equipment and treatments usually only found in hospital.

The service takes the Emergency Department to the patient, in the form of a rapid response emergency vehicle, responding to 999 calls and treating patients in their homes who would otherwise have often required an ambulance transfer to hospital.

Clinical Lead for the Physician Response Unit and Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust Dr Tony Joy said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for ‘Urgent and Emergency Care Initiative of the Year’ recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our teams over the last 12 months to expand the PRU and establish new ways of working to provide care for more patients in their own homes throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.’

“We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for patients. By taking the emergency department to the patient in their home the PRU can ensure they get the right care fast, while also reducing risk for vulnerable patients by helping them avoid a trip to hospital where possible.’

“To be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “We would like to congratulate the Physician Response Unit on being shortlisted in the ‘Urgent and Emergency Care Initiative of the Year’ category for the HSJ Value Awards 2021.’

“This year’s finalists have not only contributed to the continued fight against the covid-19 pandemic within the NHS but have also been exceptionally dedicated to enhancing healthcare across the UK.’

“We are honoured to be recognising and celebrating their outstanding work after what is, no doubt, the most challenging year in the history of the NHS. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in June.” 

Chief Executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity Jonathan Jenkins said: “It’s brilliant to see the Physician Response Unit being recognised for the fantastic service they provide for Londoners by taking the Emergency Department straight to the patient.’

“To have expanded and adapted the service; stepping up at such a critical time for the blue light community is a remarkable achievement. We are so proud of this innovative team and look forward to watching the PRU continue to go from strength to strength.”

London Ambulance Service Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, Khadir Meer said: “It’s wonderful the Physician Response Unit has been recognised by being nominated for this award.’

“The past year has been an extremely challenging time for the team, but, this is a testament to how hard they have been working to ensure Londoners receive the very best care possible.’

“The team brings clinical expertise into a person’s home and is one of a number of advances the Service has made to safely reduce the number of patients we take to emergency departments by offering the right care for them closer to home, in their community.”

The winners will be selected following a rigorous, second stage of judging ahead of the HSJ Value Awards 2021 awards ceremony. Held at Manchester Central at the end of June, the evening will provide a great opportunity for influential figures to unite and celebrate the achievements of their industry peers. The awards evening is expected to be attended by leaders and professionals from within the NHS.

The full list of finalists for the 2021 HSJ Value Awards can be found at https://value.hsj.co.uk/

Ambulance Manufacturer Brings All Production In-House, Marking £800k Investment And Job Creation

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Ambulance builder, Venari Group, has become the first fully self-sufficient manufacturer of its kind in the UK, having brought all aspects of its production process in-house.

It follows the commissioning of a new £800,000 component manufacturing centre — and will create 10 additional production roles at its Brighouse headquarters.

Every internal aspect of the firm’s ambulances, including the ambulances’ lockers and componentry, will now be manufactured in-house from raw material.

The strategic move will allow Venari Group to wholeheartedly increase quality, efficiency and safety on their vehicle range utilised by the NHS on the front line, whilst increasing capacity and decreasing lead times on large quantities.

Following a hugely demanding 2020 for the UK’s NHS ambulance trusts, Venari Group has driven continuous improvement in a bid to support its customers to a higher standard than ever before.

O&H Vehicle Technology Technical Director, Wes Linton, commented on the commissioning of the new department: “Now that O&H sits proudly within Venari Group, we have the capability and an obligation to drive unrivalled quality throughout our entire production process. UK ambulance manufacturing has essentially stood still for decades so it is our job to stride forward to the benefit of our world-class NHS ambulance trusts.’

“When assessing our performance in 2020, we asked ourselves how we could drive improvement into 2021 which ultimately led to the creation of a highly skilled and technologically exceptional department, dedicated to the construction of what is arguably the most important aspect of any ambulance build.’

“To reach the world-class industry standard which we aspire to achieve every day, we must drive quality from the front, in-house. Now, we are in control of our own destiny and with the most passionate team in the industry, that is only a great thing for our NHS ambulance trust customers.”

The Ambulance Staff Charity Reaches £1,722 At Halfway Point of National Challenge

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A month-long charity campaign which aims to boost the nation’s health and wellbeing is now at its halfway point, with donations pouring in.

Over the past two weeks, the Blue Light Get Active Challenge has tasked individuals with clocking up as many miles or minutes of physical or mindfulness exercises as they can to raise money for The Ambulance Staff Charity, The Fire Fighters Charity, Police Care UK and The Air Ambulance Service.

So far, The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC) has raised £1,722 to support ambulance staff along with other frontline workers who have shown resilience and determination over the past year, keeping the nation safe during the current pandemic.

Leading emergency service discount provider, Blue Light Card, and wellbeing organisation, Get Active are supporting the challenge, offering a state-of-the-art app for participants to log their activities and see where they rank against others in a leader board.

Everyone who takes part is encouraged to donate and fundraise for either a charity of their choice, or to have the funds split evenly between each of the four charities.

Commenting on the results so far, Jasmin Rana, Director of Income Generation & Supporter Engagement at TASC, said: “The Blue Light Get Active Challenge has kickstarted 2021 by providing a month long of activities that are suitable for all to help boost everyone’s physical, mental health and wellbeing as well as raising money for the emergency services.’

Jasmine Rana, Director of Income Generation & Supporter Engagement, TASC

“We are delighted to be one of their charity partners. The challenge so far has raised over £1,722 for TASC, The Ambulance Staff Charity, with 27 people taking part.’

“We know that the last year and the current lockdown are having a significant impact on so many of our lives and none more so than our Ambulance service.’

“We have all seen the news coverage and heard first-hand the strains and pressure they are under to ensure they are there for us.’

“At TASC we have started to see an increase in the demand of our services and are fully aware that this is just the tip of the iceberg.’

“We are grateful to everyone taking part in this challenge who are raising funds to support the Ambulance Staff.  

“All the funds raised will help to ensure TASC can continue being there for ambulance staff for years to come. If you would like to get involved there is still time to sign up at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/BlueLightGetActiveTASC.”

The overall running total raised by the four charities stands at £8,683.26.

Tom Dalby, CEO of Blue Light Card, said: “We are backing this campaign to support our frontline workers, who are always incredibly important to us but have been even more fearless and vital over the last year or so as Covid-19 has swept across the nation.’

“Seeing people get involved and take up the chance to get active and practice mindfulness, especially when the weather has been testing is great to see. And of course, seeing the donations come in to raise over £8,600 makes it extra special.’

“With two weeks left to go of the challenge, we are urging participants to keep going, and for those that haven’t signed up yet – there is still time to get involved and make yourself known on the leader board!”

The overall winner for the challenge will be crowned on 14 February.

For more information and to sign up to the Blue Light Get Active Challenge, visit: https://getactivechallenges.com/bluelight/.

How Rugged Technology Supports Ambulance Crews in Testing Times

COVID–19 saw a shift in how some ambulance crews and rapid response teams operated across the UK, from forming collaborative response and mobile support units, to creating purpose-built temporary hospitals such as the NHS Nightingale hospitals.

Communication and technology are undeniably essential in supporting these ambulance crews and emergency service teams, and implementing the latest technologies is crucial to driving improved efficiency and keeping one step ahead.

The Durabook Z141 Military-Grade Rugged Laptop

But with so much technology available and squeezed budgets, organisations must consider efficiency over complexity, and ensure assets are able to perform to the maximum throughout their lifecycle.

For example, Durabook’s newly launched Z14I rugged laptop not only withstands the harsh conditions that emergency teams experience, but it also delivers the power, performance, and functionality to seamlessly integrate with new technologies for any given situation.

Running on Windows® 10 and using an expansion module, or via other connections, it can quickly be transformed on-the-fly into any number of different solutions — from an ultra-portable workstation, to a server or storage device, or remote command centre; ideal for temporary hospitals such as NHS Nightingale. 

Click Image To View The U11I

As technology develops, ambulance crews could be adopting different ways to deliver treatment and respond to emergencies. For example, drones present new potential for medical emergency response and aid delivery, and they can be controlled by the Z14I to complete their missions.

A central rugged device like this also has the capacity to collect and process recorded data of incidents in real time to provide instant intelligence to teams on the ground, as well as back at the hospital where teams may be preparing for incoming patients.

Today, ambulance crews rely on technology to support their daily work lives. Increasingly, they are using rugged devices that withstand the harsh environments they often operate in, while delivering the functionality needed to improve patient care.

For example, Durabook’s U11I rugged tablet helps ambulance crews make critical decisions, helps them to quickly access electronic patient records, and can also transfer patient-specific information to the hospital before arrival.

Running on Windows® 10 and including an embedded smart card reader, it is the only rugged tablet available today with the further option of adding a second smart card and RFID reader. This allows for secure user authentication and the safe collection and transfer of sensitive data.

This feature has also proven essential for quickly accessing historical patient information, recording diagnoses, and securely sending data to the hospital before the patient’s arrival so that treatment can continue without delays.

Also important for ambulance crews is Durabook’s cleaning guide, which outlines how customers can sanitise their devices to reduce the spread of contaminants while ensuring continued performance, all in line with and satisfying industry standards.

Durabook has been manufacturing mobile rugged devices for over 30 years. Its military-grade technology offers deep functionality and high performance at affordable prices. Emergency services — especially ambulance and healthcare workers — often use technology where potentially harmful germs and bacteria are present. It’s vitally important for them to understand how devices can be safely sanitised to reduce the spread of contaminants while ensuring continued performance.

With so many ways in which rugged technology can help and assist ambulance crews — especially in enhancing infection control measures, and in increasing the fluidity and immediacy of communications between services too — we can see that such devices really are a vital piece of equipment aboard any modern and up-to-date ambulance.