Welcome to SWASFT

September 2017

Award for off duty paramedic 999 hero

Bath-based paramedic Simon Moody has been hailed a hero after he stepped in to save the life of a Clevedon man – while off duty – and is encouraging everybody to learn the lifesaving CPR skill.

South Western Ambulance Service’s (SWASFT) paramedic Simon Moody was off duty and stuck in Bath city centre traffic in the pouring rain in May 2017 when he noticed a man looking unwell on the pavement. It soon became clear the man was struggling to breath and was going into cardiac arrest at the side of the road, as passers-by tried to help. Luckily for the patient Simon stepped straight in and gave him chest compressions putting his paramedic life-saving skills into action before backup from his ambulance crew mates arrived.

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Bath image

For the patient, Viv Ware from Clevedon, it was a case of right place at the right time, as it was down to Simon’s quick thinking and intervention that he survived that day and his heart started to beat again. Viv was rushed to the Royal United Hospital, Bath where he got further treatment and went on to make a full recovery.

This week Viv Ware and his wife Judy went along to Bath Ambulance station to meet Simon and his other paramedic crew mates who helped to rescue him that day and to say thanks. Simon said it was a humbling experience meeting Viv again: “I must say that such events bring a real sense of satisfaction and underpins what we all do day in day out and we should all be extremely proud of being part of the team that successfully reverted his cardiac arrest enabling Viv to live another day and get back to work within three months.

“Every year hundreds of people across the south west experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Anyone, at any age and at any time can go in to cardiac arrest. The vast majority happen at home or in a public place, which is why it is vital for as many people as possible to learn how to carry out CPR. Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest and bystander CPR increases the chance of survival by up to three times.

“At the ambulance service we are working hard to see as many defibrillators as possible available across the region too and would encourage people to get in touch to register their device if they haven’t already. Using defibrillators can, and does, save lives.

“As a paramedic I know that the sooner basic life support and/or a defibrillator can be provided to someone in cardiac arrest the better their chance of survival. It is so important to publicise the benefits of CPR wherever possible. I urge people to make sure they and their family and also their children know how to do CPR as I’m a great supporter of the Restart a Heart campaign.”

18 September 2017

Assaults on emergency crews unacceptable

The emergency services from across the South West have come together to highlight the unacceptable trend in the number of assaults on their staff while on duty.

Police, ambulance, fire and healthcare staff are regularly subjected to attacks from those they are trying to help, including verbal abuse, spitting, biting and even sexual assault.

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During 2016, paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) were on the receiving end of more than 161 assaults, this is an increase of 20% compared to five years ago. The type of injuries ambulance crews have received range from cuts and bruising and sprains through to more serious injuries such as dislocations and fractures.

Out of the 140 reported incidents by crews, 50 have resulted in successful police cautions and prosecutions which range from suspended sentence, community service orders, restorative orders, fines and even imprisonment.

One incident in Torquay saw Paramedic Stuart Riley and Karen Lott, Emergency Care Assistant (ECA) subjected to a prolonged serious assault. They were attempting to treat a person who was under the influence of a new psychoactive substance who turned violent. Karen is bravely back at work, even though the vicious attack has affected her.

David Partlow, Consultant Paramedic for SWASFT, said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to any form of physical or verbal abuse towards our staff, and all reports of violence and aggression are taken very seriously. We work closely with the police to seek prosecutions where possible.

“Every member of the Trust staff plays a vital role in serving the community by helping to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time and staff should be able to fulfil their life-saving role without fear of abuse or assault.”

The Trust encourages all incidents to be reported as soon as possible and has a robust reporting mechanism in place. Staff are also supported by the SWASFT Staying Well Service which provides immediate access to numerous sources of support including specialist counselling and physiotherapy. Police and other blue light services also have similar welfare services in place for their staff.

Devon and Cornwall Police, alone, have seen 2,009 days lost to police officers unable to work on the frontline as a result of being assaulted throughout 2016; this equates to around £1m in salary costs.

Notes to editors

  1. For further information and interview opportunities contact: Press@dc.police.uk the SWASFT Press office publicrelations@swast.nhs.uk

Notes to editors: Media call

Media are invited to Crownhill Station, Plymouth for interviews with Ian Drummond-Smith at 3:30pm on Thursday 7th September. If you wish to attend, please email Press@dc.police.uk.

Janice Adam from the police federation is available for interview, please call 01392 354770 to arrange a slot.

The office of the Police and crime commissioner are supportive of this release and can also be contacted on 01392 452574, for comment.

David Partlow, Stuart Riley and Karen Lott are available for interview on Friday 8th September at 11am at Trust Headquarters, Eagle Way, Exeter. Please contact publicrelations@swast.nhs.uk.

07 September 2017

Annual members' meeting

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is holding its Annual Members’ Meeting in the Priory Suite of Taunton Rugby Club, Hyde Lane, Taunton, TA2 8BU from 11.30 to 12.30 on Wednesday 13 September 2017.

Members of the Trust’s Board of Directors and Council of Governors will be in attendance to receive the Trust’s annual report and accounts.

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These reports will also be available for viewing or downloading via the Trust website https://www.swast.nhs.uk/annual-reports-and-quality-accounts.htm

To access the agenda for the Annual Members meeting please click the following link https://www.swast.nhs.uk/Downloads/SWASFT%20CoG/AnnualMembersMeeting2017.pdf

For any enquiries please telephone 01392 261502 or email us on governors@swast.nhs.uk

05 September 2017

South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/SWASC.