Health Education England chair praises WMAS staff developments

Sir Keith Pearson, chair of Health Education England and Jenni Ord, chair for Health Education West Midlands have praised the staff developments that are being undertaken by West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS).

During a visit to the WMAS headquarters on 12 March, the pair received an overview of the educational systems embedded into the Trust, such as paramedic progression and apprenticeships.

Key to the presentations were the way the Trust has invested heavily in helping staff to train to higher levels of education which ultimately allows individuals to deliver better patient care. For example, they heard about the additional skills paramedics have which means many more patients are now cared for within their own homes rather than needing to be taken to hospital as might have happened only five years ago.

The role of WMAS critical care paramedics and their role within the Medical Emergency Response Intervention Team (MERIT) was next on the agenda. MERIT has been noted as a world leading trauma initiative, which sees highly skilled paramedics and trauma doctors being dispatched to some of the most serious incidents within the region.

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh said: ‘The visit provided the opportunity to demonstrate how we are strengthening our workforce, particularly with paramedic progression through recruitment as well as providing existing staff development opportunities. This progression will help to ensure we continue to provide patients with high quality services. We are getting ever closer to our aim of having a paramedic on every vehicle which will undoubtedly improve patient care.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 26 March 2014.

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