Apprentice paramedics support West Midlands Ambulance Service during coronavirus crisis



Dozens of apprentices have been working for the West Midlands Ambulance Service in the fight to provide exceptional patient care during the coronavirus pandemic.

At any one time, up to 60 apprentices can be learning their trade with the Trust’s non-emergency patient transport service (PTS) working on contracts in Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham, the Black Country and Cheshire.

Dylan Bamber is an apprentice on the WMAS Cheshire Patient Transport Service contract and is based in Warrington.

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He has helped transferring patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.

The 17-year-old said: “Covid-19 has made things more intense, but we’ve carried out exactly the same job as we did before.

“We have had to transfer patients who are suffering from Covid-19, and this involves wearing personal protective equipment at all times.

“I’ve not found it frightening, because you sign up to the job knowing you’re facing potentially fatal diseases. To be honest, I’ve worried more about the patients.”

The Trust says the apprentices’ contribution to the crisis has been ‘outstanding’.

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Michelle Brotherton, who runs the Trust’s PTS service said: “Our apprentices have really risen to the challenge during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

“They form part of our PTS crews and have been dealing with both Covid and non-Covid patients during the pandemic, which has allowed us to provide the very highest standard of patient care. 

“We see them as exactly the same as our full-time staff.  Only today, six apprentices passed their course and we offered them permanent positions with the Trust.  We have an excellent record of supporting our apprentices to achieve all they can.

“An apprenticeship is a really good way of coming into the organisation. They get to experience a variety of roles whether discharges of patients from hospital or taking renal patients into their appointments; it provides a real grounding on how to talk and interact with patients.

“Dozens of our apprentices have then gone on to train further either as a paramedic or in another role within the Trust such as in our emergency operations centres taking 999 calls.

“We are always on the look out for new apprentices because we know that we get great staff who we are proud to help develop their skills which ultimately helps patients.”

Gill Durkin, business development director of PTP Training, which trades as Performance Through People, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the outstanding response of our apprentices during this difficult time. 

“Those working on the front line in the health service have been both extremely brave and busy at work, whilst also making the time to continue with their learning.”

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