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Map of the West Midlands Ambulance Service's coverage

The West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WMAS) is the second-largest ambulance service in the UK. It is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.

It is one of 12 Ambulance Trusts providing England with Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service, receiving direct government funding for its role. There is no charge to patients for use of the service

WMAS is one of the highest performing ambulance services in England and was one of only two to exceed all of its national performance targets in 2006-07. WMAS employs over 3,500 staff over 63 sites, and makes over 450,000 emergency responses every year.[1]

Contents

History

The trust was formed on July 1, 2006, following the merger of the Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Coventry & Warwickshire Ambulance NHS Trust, and WMAS and Shropshire services.[2]

On October 1, 2007, the service merged with Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.[2][3]

In March 2008, it announced plans for crews to trial wearing stab-proof vests.[4][5] However, an internal report in March 2008 also stated that there was no evidence for the use of protective vests[6] and as of December 2009, no crews have been issued with them.

EOC Reconfiguration

Following the merger of the trusts, WMAS inherited a number of standalone control rooms. This resulted in 5 EOCs spread across the region operating independently using varying levels of technology at the following sites:[7]

  • Millennium Point, Brierley Hill
  • Tollgate Drive, Stafford
  • Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury
  • Bransford, Worcester
  • Dale St, Leamington Spa

On 28 November 2007, the Trust agreed to go ahead with proposals for the reconfiguration of its Emergency Operations Centres, despite vocal protests from the public.

Air Ambulances

There is an air ambulance charity serving the WMAS service community, called the Midlands Air Ambulance.

The Midlands Air Ambulance has three daylight air ambulance helicopters covering the 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) of the Midlands region, based at RAF Cosford (nr Wolverhampton), Tattenhill Airport and at Strensham services.[8]

Resources

The trust has over 400 vehicles, including patient transport services vehicles, rapid response vehicles, motorcycle response units, and of course ambulance crews.

In times of emergency, WMAS also requests assistance from voluntary ambulance providers, such as St John Ambulance[9]. St John Ambulance also provide 'A&E Support' crews at times when there is a high level of staff absence or there is an unusually high call volume. This arrangement sees volunteer crews attending Emergency or Non-Emergency calls. Volunteer crews may treat and transport certain categories of patient, although they are expected to ask for further assistance for more serious patients.

In times of severe weather, WMAS also has the ability to call on the Severn Area Rescue Association who have 4x4 ambulances [10].

Also, on Friday evenings, Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, as well as some bank holiday periods such as Christmas and New Year, support for front-line crews is provided by the West Midlands CARE Team. The CARE Team is a volunteer group of BASICS doctors and nurses, conveyed in a specially equipped fast response car by a paramedic officer to provide advanced medical care at the scene of an incident.

See also

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Other emergency medical services

Other emergency services

References

  1. ^ West Midlands Ambulance Service: Facts & Figures
  2. ^ a b "Health Care Commission: WMAS". http://www.healthcarecommission.org.uk/yourlocalhealthservices/nhsa-zbyorganisationname.cfm?widCall1=customWidgets.content_view_1&cit_id=4049. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  
  3. ^ "Midlands ambulance trusts merge". 2007-10-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/7021533.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-28.  
  4. ^ "Ambulance crews trial stab vests". 2008-03-27. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7316951.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-27.  
  5. ^ "999 crews to use stab-proof vests". 2008-03-27. http://www.shropshirestar.com/2008/03/27/999-crews-to-use-stab-proof-vests/. Retrieved 2008-03-27.  
  6. ^ (2008-03-26) WMAS Trust Board Corporate Services Report (HTML Version) . (Report). Retrieved on 2009-03-10.
  7. ^ West Midlands Control Room Option Appraisal (10/10/2007)
  8. ^ County Air Ambulance Trust Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2006
  9. ^ "Shropshire's response to the flooding". 2007-07. http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/about-us/latest-news/news-archive/news-stories-from-2007/july/flooding-update/shropshire.aspx. Retrieved 2008-03-27.  
  10. ^ . http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=MN3F174SMVY%3d&tabid=149&mid=1081.  

External links


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