Body Cameras Rolled Out to All North East Stations to Protect Frontline Staff

All frontline ambulance staff at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) will have access to a body worn camera in a bid to protect them against the rise of incidents of violence and aggression.

All NEAS vehicles are fitted with CCTV cameras, but with two thirds of incidents happening away from a vehicle, the service was keen to protect staff further.

NEAS was the first ambulance service to trial body worn video cameras in 2018 with around 40 members of frontline staff.

Following this trial, the Trust was successful in a funding bid from NHS England to purchase a further 160 cameras last year and has now received funding to purchase a further 200, meaning every ambulance station in the region will now have access to a camera.

So far this year, the service has already recorded 252 violence and aggression incidents, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assault.

Alcohol remains the single largest contributory factor, followed by mental health and drug misuse.

The day or time of the week does not appear to be a factor in assaults, with recent data showing staff are as likely to be attacked on a Tuesday as they are on a Saturday.

Violence and Aggression Incidents Against Staff by Year

1/4/19-31/3/20556
1/4/20-31/3/21634
1/4/21-now114


These incidents include:

Type of incident2019/202020/212021/22 so far
Racist behaviour/abuse/hate related incident222
Intimidating behaviour10514338
Patient lashing out587511
Physical assault11213129
Sexual abuse18154
Verbal abuse14412730

Darren Green, clinical services manager at NEAS, said: “Staff safety is one of our highest priorities; if we are unable to protect our staff, we are unable to provide a service that’s fit for purpose for the public we serve.’

“Nobody comes to work to be abused, but especially not when they are here to help people; often the people abusing them are the very people who called them for help.’

“We’ve all had an incredibly tough year but sadly abuse on our staff has continued to increase, meaning these cameras are needed more than ever.’

“As well as providing evidence to support criminal convictions, the cameras can also often de-escalate a situation, thereby preventing an assault from the taking place in the first place.’

“They also provide staff with a greater confidence when faced with a challenging or risky situation.’

“The availability of body worn cameras for our staff is something that we have championed for a long time and so we are delighted to have led the trial to help implement them nationally.’

“We will continue to work on measures to reduce assaults and liaise with police colleagues to ensure action is taken following any criminal acts against staff or the Trust.  We encourage all valuable NHS colleagues not to tolerate such behaviour.”

Gateshead based paramedic Gary McCaughey, who regularly uses the body cameras on shift, said: “It gives you a little more comfort in the fact that if anything does happen you’re able to record it, but it definitely acts as a deterrent — you can physically see the situation de-escalate when you tell the person you’re activating it.”

Hartlepool-based paramedic Tony Traynor added: “It focuses minds; I’ve warned people that I’m about to turn it on twice and each time they’ve changed their behaviour.’

“A lot of the time it can be a case of he said, she said but the cameras provide that video evidence that they can’t argue against.”

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 allows courts to impose a maximum of 12 months in prison and/or unlimited fine on anyone found guilty of assaulting a police officer, firefighter, prison officer or paramedic. A bill is currently going through Parliament to double this sentence to 24 months.

NEAS successfully campaigned last year as part of the national consultation to double the maximum sentence to two years imprisonment, where it called on courts to use the full powers already available to them to ensure sentencing acts as a deterrent as well as a punishment.

Assaults — both physical and verbal — can have a lasting impact on staff, ranging from marriage breakdowns to leaving the profession altogether.

There is also a wider cost to the service in terms of repairs and time lost to staff sickness. On reviewing just 41 cases between April 2017 and October 2019, the service lost 411 days to staff sickness at a cost of £141,824 in overtime costs to cover missed shifts following an assault.

In addition, the cost of recruiting and training replacements for those staff who have left ranges between £20,000 and £30,000 per person depending on the role and clinical skills needed in the post.  

Footage obtained in the event of an assault or abuse will be admissible as evidence in a court of law.  It will only be used for the purposes of providing evidence to the police in any enquiry intended for the health, safety and protection of staff.

Pair Commended for Life-Saving Interventions at Car Crash Aftermath

A nurse and her colleague who delivered life-saving first aid in the aftermath of a serious car crash have been commended for their actions.

District nurse Joanne Curry and her co-worker Simon Clifford were on shift with the GP out-of-hours service when they came across a one-car collision in Abertillery, where four people had been injured, two of them seriously.

Using equipment from the boot of their car, Joanne administered first aid in the minutes before the arrival of the ambulance service, while Simon, her driver, managed the scene.Today, the pair were presented with certificates from the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive Jason Killens.

Jason said: “Serious road traffic accidents can be daunting for even the most seasoned paramedics, so the way Joanne and Simon took control of the scene is testament to their expert skill and professionalism.’

This story may have had a different ending had it not been for their intervention, and we would like to thank Joanne and Simon for their support that day, which made a huge difference to both our crews and the patients.”

The pair were nearing the end of their shift with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s GP out-of-hours service on the evening of 01 March 2021when they spotted a car which had left the carriageway of the A467.

Joanne, a nurse of 32 years, said: “We had just left a call in Nantyglo and were heading back down the Valley to finish when I could see in the distance hazard lights from a car in the carriageway.’

“As we got near, I could see that the vehicle was in the bushes on the nearside and was severely damaged.’

“I got out to see if I could offer any assistance in my capacity as a nurse, and luckily the emergency equipment I had in the car meant I was able to provide first aid.’

“When the fire and ambulance service arrived, I briefed them then supported where I could, by fetching equipment.’

“My colleague Simon assisted me in a situation way out of his comfort zone — and mine.”

Simon, who has been a driver for 15 years, added: “It hadn’t long happened when we pulled up to help.’

“Joanne was brilliant and just took it completely in her stride; she was straight out of the car and straight over to the patients, shouting to me what I needed to retrieve from the boot.’

“It was a trying situation but I’m glad we were able to help in some way.”

In all, four ambulances, three rapid response cars and the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team were dispatched to the scene, where crews were also supported by a doctor from MEDSERVE Wales and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.

The four occupants of the car were taken to hospital for treatment.

Judith Paget,
Chief Executive,
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Jason said: “This was without doubt a complex and challenging scene, but Joanne and Simon’s actions tipped the balance of survival in the right way.’

“Once again, we commend them for their quick-thinking actions, which made a huge difference that day.”

Judith Paget, Chief Executive at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, added: “We are extremely proud of both Joanne and Simon for their courageous actions.’

“Their daily roles involve providing excellent care to their patients, but being able to adapt these skills to perform life-saving emergency treatment really is exceptional.’

“Our NHS services in Wales work as one team, and the way Joanne and Simon responded so selflessly is the epitome of this.’

“[We’re] Wishing all casualties involved in the collision a quick recovery.”

Port Talbot Supermarket Staff Commended for Quick-Thinking Actions

Supermarket workers who came to the aid of a customer in cardiac arrest have been praised for their quick-thinking actions.

Staff at Tesco in Port Talbot gave CPR to a man who had collapsed in the car park and delivered two shocks using the store’s defibrillator before the arrival of an ambulance.

Colleagues also made a makeshift helipad to allow for the safe landing of the air ambulance.

Today, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive Jason Killens visited the store to extend a thank you for their efforts.

Members of staff from Port Talbot with Jason Killens, Chief Executive of WAST

Jason said: “Every second counts in a cardiac arrest, and the way that colleagues worked together to begin the chain of survival gave this patient the best possible chance

“They’re a shining example of what to do in this sort of scenario, and they should be really proud of their actions.”

A rapid response car, an emergency ambulance, and an air ambulance were dispatched to the Prior Street supermarket after the 999 call in October.

Community First Responder Ashley Page supported Paramedic Richard John in the rapid response car, which arrived within six minutes of the call.

Ashley, who is also an allocator in the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, said: “When we arrived, good quality CPR was in progress by store staff and an off-duty South Wales Police officer.’

“The store’s defibrillator had already given the patient two shocks, and staff had cleared an area for us to work on the patient and had also made a makeshift helipad.’

“Their collective efforts on that day gave the man a fighting chance, and made the ambulance crews’ job so much easier.”

Today, Chief Executive Jason Killens was joined by the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan, Joanna Jenkins, to present staff at the store with a commendation.

Joanna said: “What store staff and the off-duty South Wales Police officer achieved that day is very impressive.’

“CPR and the use of the store defibrillator, as well as the creation of a makeshift helipad, demonstrate that everything possible was done to assist the customer.’

“This commendation is richly deserved. Many congratulations.”

Store manager Mandy Walsh added: “I am incredibly proud of how our team responded to this emergency.’

“We have trained first-aiders in all our stores in case someone does become ill, but the way our whole store worked together to help this customer is a credit to the professionalism of every colleague involved.”

Cardiac Arrest Survivor Thanks “Humble Heroes” For Saving His Life

A 54-year-old man whose heart stopped beating for 21 minutes has thanked London Ambulance Service staff that helped save his life.

Nicolas De Santis, a tech entrepreneur, was working at home in his study when he started to feel slight discomfort in his chest which he brushed off as an infection or bad cold.

Elliott Clark,
LAS Call Handler

Fortunately for Nicolas his daughter, Alaia, 22, was also at home that day in December 2019, and had gone to check on him before they went out to dinner when he collapsed in front of her.

She immediately dialled 999 and followed the advice from London Ambulance Service call handler, Elliott, who began to talk Alaia through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

She said: “When I saw my dad collapse, I knew something severe had happened to him.’

“I had never learnt CPR before, but, I knew I had to act quickly as he was not breathing.’

“The call handler kept me calm and helped talk me through what to do.”

As Alaia continued to give chest compressions to her father, medics Kirsty, Junaid, John and Vijay arrived.

Junaid, an Advanced Paramedic for London Ambulance Service, recalled that day: “21 minutes is a very long time for someone’s heart to stop beating.’

“Every second counts when a person is in cardiac arrest and good chest compressions — like those Alaia gave — helps to resupply the heart and brain with vital oxygen.’

“Alaia’s quick actions that day truly saved her father’s life.”

Left to Right: John, Vijay. Nicolas and Alaia, Junaid, and Kirsty

After the medics helped to stabilise Nicolas, they rushed him to hospital where he was put in an induced coma. He spent a month recovering in an intensive care unit. The doctors said he had suffered a cardiac arrest because of a blocked coronary artery.

Nicolas De Santis in the ICU

Nicolas, who lives in Mayfair with his wife, Melissa Odabash, and his two daughters, Alaia and Avalon, 18, says the incident has made him see the world a little differently.

“I left this life for 21 minutes. I realise how lucky I am to be alive, and life really is much more beautiful than it was before.’

“The way I see it I came back to understand how precious life really is,” he said.

Recently Nicolas visited London Ambulance Service’s HQ to meet the staff there that helped to save his life that day.

He said: “It has been so important for me to be able to thank them. Without them I’m not sure I would have survived. I call them my ‘humble heroes’, because they really are heroes and so humble.”

Since recovering Nicolas wants to raise awareness of the importance of cardiac health and learning lifesaving skills such as CPR.

He said: “I’m a 54-year-old man, fairly fit, play football every weekend and look after myself with a healthy diet. I never thought anything like this could happen to me. It is totally unpredictable.’

“And that’s the point, you never know who it could happen to or when, so that’s why it’s so important to learn these skills. As sadly, you’re much more likely to have to save someone close to you — a friend or family member.”

Not only has Nicolas thanked the ambulance service for saving his life, he says he is indebted to his daughter: “I have said to her, whatever she wants, she can have!

“I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me another chance at life and the opportunity to see my daughters grow up, get married and graduate. I am so grateful to everyone that day.”

Nicolas and Alaia

Capital Air Ambulance Receives CQC Approval And A Home Office License For Controlled Drugs

Capital Air Ambulance, a division of Pula Aviation Services Limited, has achieved two milestones during April.

It has been accredited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the practice of health and social care services in England and it has been awarded a controlled drugs license by the Home Office.

The CQC accreditation acknowledges Capital as providing the same care standards as achieved by the NHS in England and covers diagnostic and screening procedures, transport services, triage and medical advice provided remotely, treatment of disease, and disorder or injury.

Granted by the independent regulator of health and social care in England, the accreditation sets Capital’s air ambulance and ground ambulance services ahead by ensuring NHS-equivalent medical care standards are delivered.

Dr Rowan Hardy,
Medical Director,
Capital Air Ambulance Ltd.

The separate Home Office license granted to Capital approves the storage and handling procedures of controlled drugs that will be used by Capital’s medical teams during air and ground ambulance operations.

Dr. Rowan Hardy, Medical Director at Capital Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted that Capital has been able to demonstrate it meets the CQC’s fundamental standards of quality and safety and gained this approval alongside the Home Office license for controlled drugs.’

“With the approvals resulting from an examination of every aspect of our care, from medical equipment and medicines used to the qualifications and training of medical staff, this means our patients will receive the same standard of high-quality care as provided by the UK’s hospitals and other health care facilities.”

Welsh Ambulance Service And Macmillan Cancer Support Launch New Initiative To Improve Care For Terminally Ill Patients

The Welsh Ambulance Service has joined forces with Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, launching a new initiative to improve the care delivered to terminally ill patients.

The collaboration, which launched during Dying Matters Awareness Week (10-16 May 2021), is designed to improve the training delivered to ambulance crews so they can provide the very best care for patients at the end of life.

The training helps to give staff a greater understanding of end of life care, supporting clinicians to better recognise when a patient is nearing end of their life, and improving communication and symptom management skills to prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

Ed O’Brian, Macmillan Paramedic and the Trust’s End of Life Care Lead, said: “The collaboration between Welsh Ambulance and Macmillan Cancer Support will bring huge benefits to patients and staff across Wales.

“Ambulance clinicians are often called to assist patients nearing the end of their life due to an advanced or terminal illness, so it’s vital they can do so having had the appropriate training and with the right support structure around them to deliver the best care.’

“The network of support being developed as part of this project in conjunction with Palliative Care Wales is invaluable, such as the ability for an ambulance clinician anywhere in Wales to be able to contact a palliative medicine doctor 24/7 from the patient’s home to seek their advice and guidance in order to achieve the best outcome for the patient.’

“The two-year project will also help us to identify why, where and when patients at the end of life are needing to access the ambulance service, so we can identify areas for further development across the health and care sector in Wales.”

This is the latest in a series of initiatives between the Welsh Ambulance Service and Macmillan Cancer Support designed to improve the care that palliative patients receive.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “Macmillan is so very proud to be able to help fund this project through the fantastic and tireless support given by our fundraisers.’

“This first-of-its-kind partnership means we can help people, and their loved ones, to spend their final days in the way they want.’

“As people near the end of life, dignity and the knowledge that their final wishes have been met is the best comfort and gift we can give them.”

In 2019, the Welsh Ambulance Service won an NHS Wales Award in the Delivering Person-Centred Services category for its End of Life Care Rapid Transport Service, as well as the Outstanding Contribution to Transforming Health and Care Award.

The End of Life Care Rapid Transport Service, delivered by the Trust’s Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, works with teams across Wales to provide transport for terminally ill patients to their preferred place of death.

The enhanced service ensures patients and their families have minimal delays, helping to reduce any further distress and anxiety.

The dedicated service has made nearly 2,000 compassionate journeys since its introduction in 2017.

The Trust was also the first ambulance service in the UK to introduce ‘Just in Case’ medications to its frontline emergency vehicles, allowing paramedics to better manage the symptoms that may sometimes be experienced as terminally ill patients become more poorly.

Nikki Pease, Palliative Care Consultant at Velindre University NHS Trust, added: “Where and how people die matters.’

“This all-Wales collaborative project serves to ensure first class end of life care to all.”

Join The Welsh Ambulance Service’s New People and Community Network

The Welsh Ambulance Service is inviting the public to join its brand new network.

Members of the Trust’s People and Community Network can attend meetings, take surveys and share their own experience at the hands of the ambulance service in order to shape the way services are delivered.

They can also take part in ‘Mystery Shopper’ exercises to identify where improvements could be made, whether to its Emergency Medical Service, Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service or NHS 111 Wales.

The network launches this week, and is open to patients, carers, community groups or anyone with an interest in how the Welsh Ambulance Service works.

Leanne Hawker, the Trust’s Head of Patient Experience and Community Involvement, said: “Patients are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s important we hear first-hand from people with lived experience in order to deliver meaningful improvements.’

“With the launch of this network comes an opportunity to engage with people we may not have engaged with before, and enlist as broad a spectrum of people as possible to allow us to deliver more person-centred care.’

“In turn, we hope to build a network for all people from all backgrounds, truly representative of the communities we serve.”

Leanne added: “The co-design of services with our communities is key to delivering the best ambulance service possible for people in Wales.’

“For us, this is about innovating services for the needs of people, through the inclusion of people.’

“Put simply, our message is this – be part of the change you want to see.”

To join the People and Community Network, please complete this online form.

Alternatively, you can email PECI.Team@wales.nhs.uk or call 01792 311773.

Members of the network will receive regular communications from the Welsh Ambulance Service and will be given the chance to participate in a Welcome Day.

Follow @WelshAmbPECI on Twitter for more news and updates about the People and Community Network.

Welsh Ambulance Service Donates Laptops To Schoolchildren In Need

The Welsh Ambulance Service donated more than 100 of its old computers to help schoolchildren in South Wales with remote learning through Covid-19.

Tens of thousands of children in Wales had to study from home when schools closed their doors through the pandemic – but not all families had a computer.

The Trust was one of 20 organisations who answered a call for surplus ICT equipment which could be put to good use, and donated 107 of its ‘pre-loved’ computers and laptops to the cause.

From left to right: Cllr Lis Burnett, Paramedic Petra Geddes, James Evans from A & LH Environmental Services Ltd, and pupils of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.

Nicola Stephens, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Estates Officer and Environmental Specialist, said: “The pandemic meant we had to make huge changes, not just as an emergency service but as a society.’

“The support we had from the public was overwhelming, and this was our way of paying something back, a small token of our appreciation.’

“We could help, so we did, and hopefully among the recipients there are pupils who one day might consider a career in the ambulance service.’

“As an organisation we are very aware of our environmental impact, and being able to re-use this equipment rather than recycle it is a small but positive step.”

The Trust joined forces with A & LH Environmental Services Ltd to refurbish the old equipment, which was wiped completely clean of secure data prior to distribution.

Alun Haines, Managing Director of A & LH Environmental Services Ltd, said: “To us, it seemed like the obvious way to help during a really tough year.’

Pupils from Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg

“We have the capabilities to ensure the equipment was completely data clear and tested before passing it to the Vale of Glamorgan Council to distribute among schools.’

“With the help of the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, we’ve been able to help lots of children to continue learning, and we will continue to help where we can.”

Among the schools gifted with equipment was Barry’s Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg.

Head teacher Rhys Angell-Jones said: “As the school continues to develop, technology has been at the forefront in our education and provision and as a school we promote our pupils to be digital leaders.’

“We are extremely grateful for this donation which will have a direct impact on our pupils’ progress

“Thank you for this kind donation.” 

Digital Leader Dilwyn Owen added: “We are delighted to receive these computers from the ambulance service.’

“Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg prides itself on our use of IT within the curriculum.’

“Blended learning over the past year has reinforced our vision of a device for all pupils.’

“These tools will improve our provision within the school and bring the reality of a digital curriculum closer.”

ICT equipment was distributed to schools via local authorities.

Councillor Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “We’d like to thank the Welsh Ambulance Service and A & LH Environmental Services Ltd for these computers, which I’m sure will be of huge benefit to the pupils that use them.’

“A range of ICT equipment has been donated by companies during the pandemic.’

“This has helped support home learning for pupils and school staff and also provided extra resources for the classroom.”

Welsh Ambulance Service Commends Military’s Contribution to COVID-19 Effort

The Welsh Ambulance Service has extended a thanks to the Armed Forces for its support through the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than 200 British Army soldiers assisted the Trust’s Covid-19 effort by driving and decontaminating ambulance vehicles as part of Operation Rescript.

Among them were 90 soldiers from 9 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, who were enlisted on Christmas Eve at the height of the second wave of the pandemic.

Lee Brooks,
Director of Operations,
Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Today, the Trust presented a commemorative plaque to Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, the commander for military support in Wales, as a token of its appreciation.

Lee Brooks, Director of Operations, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been the most challenging period in our history, but having the military on board put us in the best possible position to face the task ahead.’

“We were very fortunate to have enlisted their support, and the presence of military colleagues was well received by staff, volunteers and our patients alike.’

“We’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the military, which has been further strengthened as a result of their support through COVID-19.’

“We were thrilled to present Brigadier Dawes with a token of our appreciation today.”

Jason Killens,
Chief Executive,
Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Chief Executive Jason Killens added: “We’re extremely proud and grateful to have had the military working alongside our staff in the collective effort against COVID-19.

“Their support has not only strengthened our existing relationships with the Armed Forces community but has opened up new opportunities for collaboration in future.’

“We hope that their glimpse into the world of the ambulance service has been as rewarding an experience for them as it has been for us.”

More than 20,000 military personnel were tasked with supporting public services across the UK during the pandemic as part of a ‘Covid Support Force’.

Their support of the Welsh Ambulance Service, under what is known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA), has now drawn to a close.

Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE said: “Over the last 12 months, we have all faced challenges beyond our imagination.

“Our resilience has been pushed to a point none of us could have anticipated.’

“Throughout I have been struck by the unwavering commitment of our health care providers across Wales and the selfless way each and every one of them has faced setback, loss, trauma and exhaustion — yet carried on.’

“We in the military are humbled and extremely proud to have been able to step up and support NHS Wales when it was needed.’

“It has been a genuine privilege to work side by side with our partners in the Welsh Ambulance Services during the past year.’

“Men and women from across the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have been supporting the Welsh Government’s response to COVID-19 for more than a year.’

From LEft to Right: Director of Operations Lee Brooks, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, Chief Executive Jason Killens, and Major Chris Graham

“In April 2020, our first military teams deployed to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust after an intensive training package in Sennybridge.’

“More teams followed in the summer and again on Christmas Eve and have only now recently concluded their work.’

“At the height of our support to the Welsh Ambulance Service, more than 100 of our people from across a range of Army units were deployed as ambulance crews, supporting more than 12,000 callouts across Wales.’

“I have heard some extraordinary stories from those service personnel involved.’

“They have all been humbled by the professionalism and commitment of the ambulance crews who deal with the unexpected and traumatic with empathy and patience on a daily basis.’

“We have forged a lasting relationship with the ambulance service, an organisation with whom we share very similar values, a work ethic and a sense of duty.’

“It has been a real honour to work alongside them.”

Modern New Station for Cardigan Bay Ambulance Crews

Welsh Ambulance Service crews in Cardigan Bay are preparing to move to a state-of-the-art new permanent home.

Crews previously based in a Portakabin at New Quay Fire Station will move to a new facility in nearby Aberaeron in November.

A full refurbishment of a 1,700 square foot building on the grounds of Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Minaeron complex is now underway.

The facility will include a garage and two-bay ambulance area as well as a kitchen, rest room and showers.

Catrin Convery, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Locality Manager in Ceredigion, said: “Until recently, our New Quay crews were based out of a Portakabin but extensive storm damage meant our presence there was untenable.

A digital rendering of the new station

“Since then, colleagues have been working out of locations across the county, so very much look forward to coming together once more and having a base to call their own.’

“The Aberaeron site will deliver the improved and fit-for-purpose facilities that our staff deserve, which in turn will mean a better service for the people of Ceredigion.”

The move is part of a broader programme of work to modernise the Trust’s estate, which recently has meant improvements in Tredegar, St Asaph, Swansea, Whitland, Llanidloes and Barry.

More new facilities in South Wales are also in the pipeline, including in the capital city where the Cardiff Area Ambulance Centre is mid-way through construction.

The new facility will include a ‘make ready’ depot for the cleaning and re-stocking of ambulances, as well as an education centre and a hub for the Trust’s Cycle Response Unit.

Richard Davies, the Trust’s Assistant Director of Capital and Estates, said: “One of our key priorities as an organisation is to ensure our people have access to facilities that are safe, well maintained and fit-for-purpose and which allow them to serve communities to the best of their ability.’

“A move to the Minaeron complex also presents the perfect opportunity to work more closely with our health board colleagues, with whom we already have an excellent working relationship, and we’re grateful for their support in progressing this exciting project.”

Peter Skitt, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s County Director for Ceredigion, said: “This development is a fantastic opportunity for a more integrated and sustainable approach for the people of Ceredigion.

“It allows our teams to work more closely together and deliver a more seamless approach to the delivery of our services.’

“We very much look forward to the completion and to working more closely with our Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues.”

Swansea-based Edmunds Webster Ltd is undertaking the refurbishment, which has meant the demolition of external walls and internal partitions to pave way for the new facility.