West Midlands Ambulance Service


West Midlands Ambulance Service

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. [ [http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/AboutUs/FactsFigures/tabid/62/Default.aspx West Midlands Ambulance Service: Facts & Figures] ]

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.cite web|url=http://www.healthcarecommission.org.uk/yourlocalhealthservices/nhsa-zbyorganisationname.cfm?widCall1=customWidgets.content_view_1&cit_id=4049|title=Health Care Commission: WMAS|accessdate=2008-04-04]

On October 1, 2007, the service merged with Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/7021533.stm|title=Midlands ambulance trusts merge |date=2007-10-01|accessdate=2008-03-28]

In March 2008, it announced plans for crews to trial wearing stab-proof vests. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7316951.stm|title=Ambulance crews trial stab vests|date=2008-03-27|accessdate=2008-03-27] [cite news|url=http://www.shropshirestar.com/2008/03/27/999-crews-to-use-stab-proof-vests/|title=999 crews to use stab-proof vests|date=2008-03-27|accessdate=2008-03-27]

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: [ [http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=PDQKq6tY0ng%3d&tabid=158&mid=739 West Midlands Control Room Option Appraisal (10/10/2007)] ]
* Millennium Point, Brierley Hill
* Stone Rd, 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 County Air Ambulance.

The County Air Ambulance has three daylight air ambulance helicopters covering the convert|8000|sqmi|km2 of the Midlands region, based at RAF Cosford (nr Wolverhampton), Tattenhill Airport and at Strensham services. [http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/ScannedAccounts%5CEnds63%5C0001057063_AC_20060930_E_C.PDF County Air Ambulance Trust Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2006] ]

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 [cite news|url=http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/about-us/latest-news/news-archive/news-stories-from-2007/july/flooding-update/shropshire.aspx|title=Shropshire's response to the flooding|date=2007-07|accessdate=2008-03-27] . 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.

ee also

Other emergency medical services

* Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
* Air Ambulances in the United Kingdom
* British Red Cross
* St. John Ambulance

Other emergency services

* West Mercia Constabulary
* Staffordshire Police
* West Midlands Police
* Warwickshire Police

References

External links

* [http://www.wmas.nhs.uk/ West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust]


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