Coronavirus: More than 1,000 apply for West Midlands Ambulance Service posts
More than 1,000 Good Samaritans have lodged applications to help West Midlands Ambulance Service cope with increased demand within just three days.
With the help of hundreds of students the emergency service is rolling out unprecedented plans to protect the public and save lives by substantially increasing staff numbers and training up hundreds of existing staff.
In recent weeks the number of call assessors in its 999 and 111 control rooms have been increasing, but last weekend a recruitment drive was launched which attracted more than 1,000 people within 72 hours.
The service said a fast tracking exercise was underway with dozens of interviews held yesterday with plans to hold more on Friday.
In addition, the trust has been working with Staffordshire, Coventry, Worcester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City universities to recruit around 200 third year paramedic students.
The service said these students were weeks away from qualifying and have spent thousands of hours on our ambulances, working with our staff, treating patients. And were very well trained and experienced.
Emergency services operations delivery director Nathan Hudson, said: “These students would have qualified over the next few weeks as HCPC registered paramedics so are a tremendous asset for us and I have no doubt that they will help to save many lives over the coming weeks. I am incredibly proud of the students and also our staff for doing the right thing to help patients.”
Our existing staff are also playing their part. With the number of non-emergency appointments significantly reduced, 320 of our patient transport service staff have agreed to undertake additional training so that we can significantly increase our ability to transport GP patient referrals, hospital discharges and low acuity patients where appropriate using strict protocols.
A further 130 Year 2 university graduate paramedics have also been taken on to work as assistants to our vehicle preparation operatives who play a vital role cleaning and re-stocking our ambulance. This will allow clinical staff to spend more time treating patients, doubling our capacity.
Ambulance service trust chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “We are dealing with a global pandemic and a national emergency. Covid-19 presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation.
“I am committed to doing everything necessary to protect the public and save lives. Seeing the lengths that our staff are going to, to help people has never made me feel prouder to lead such an organisation.
“We have taken difficult decisions in recent weeks and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure we protect the 999 service, but it is vital that the public help us.
“The message is clear, stay at home, protect the NHS. Save lives, anyone can spread the virus."
*Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
*Stay 6ft away from other people
*Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home