Volunteers’ Week 2022: NWAS thanks volunteers

In the last year, volunteers at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have given hundreds of thousands of hours to help their communities in the North West.

NWAS more than 1,000 active volunteers performing a range of roles across the service, including:

  • Community first responders (CFRs) / extended community first responders (ECFRs) within our paramedic emergency service.
  • BASICS Medical responders who can respond alongside NWAS colleagues.
  • Volunteer car drivers within our patient transport service (PTS), to take people to and from routine appointments.
  • Members of the patient and public panel (PPP) who help shape NWAS services.

NWAS Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said, “The service has been under extraordinary pressure for the last couple of years, and the people who volunteer for us really have made a difference. For example, 1 in every 16 journeys made by our patient transport service is by one of our volunteer car drivers.

“If you are a volunteer at NWAS, even if you give up just a couple of hours a week, on behalf of the service, I want to say thank you. We could not continue to deliver the best possible service to the people of the North West without your contribution.”

David McNally, Blue Light Collaboration and Engagement Manager, said, “When people volunteer to be a community first responder (CFR), we train them in life-saving skills. Some can go further to become enhanced CFRs. They can make the difference between life and death in time-critical incidents like a cardiac arrest, where every minute matters. In other situations, they offer important reassurance to patients before an ambulance arrives.

“We have over 650 CFRs and ECFRs working across the region and in the last year, they have given over 110 thousand hours of support to the service, which is incredible.”

NWAS Associate Medical Director Dr. Tim Smith said, “BASICS is the British Association for Immediate Care – a volunteer organisation that supports ambulance services by providing specialist pre-hospital care. We have a number of volunteers who respond in their own time for both the BEEP scheme and the newly expanded North West Prehospital Critical Care Charity – formerly the Cheshire & Shropshire immediate Care Scheme (CSI BASICS).

“They are available to respond to life-threatening emergencies offering enhanced care capabilities. The support they provide complements the resources we have in the emergency service and their training and expertise can be crucial in major-trauma and complex medical incidents. The recent scheme expansion now provides enhanced coverage across the entire NWAS footprint.”

Hayley Taylor, PTS Assurance Coordinator, said, “We have increased the number of active volunteer car drivers since the pandemic, helping transport patients to their routine medical appointments. The contact they have with patients can be significant. Sometimes it’s the only contact the patient has had with another person in a while; this was particularly true during lockdown. Many of our volunteers offer their time several days a week, others just a few hours. Whatever it is, they’re a vital part of the patient transport service.”

Julie Trehane, Head of Communications and Engagement, said, “The engagement we have with the public is incredibly important. We have more than 200 Patient and Public Panel members from all ages, backgrounds and parts of the North West, who contribute by getting involved in meetings, workshops and decision-making to ultimately improve the ambulance service for everyone who uses it. In the last year, these volunteers have been part of dozens of discussions to tell us how we are performing and how we can develop better care for our patients.”

More information about getting involved with NWAS as a volunteer is available by clicking here

For more info on Beep Doctors click here

For more info on North West Prehospital Critical Care Charity click here

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