WITH all elements of healthcare facing significant change the West Midlands’ ambulance service has released a short film detailing its past, present and future.

The 13-minute film released by West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust shows the changes the service has faced over the past 10 years and how it is planning to continue to improve in the future.

The trust’s chief executive Anthony Marsh said the organisation – which covers a 5,000 square-mile area encompassing Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Birmingham and the Black Country – receives about 3,000 999 calls every day, with this figure increasing by about five per cent year on year.

“What’s more, despite being an emergency service, the majority of them are not life-threatening,” he said.

“Because our call numbers have effectively doubled in recent years – particularly the non-life threatening ones – we have had to become far more than a traditional ‘scoop and run’ service taking all of our patients to hospital.

“We have developed into a service that increasingly takes healthcare to the patient rather than the patient to healthcare.”

He said the organisation was undergoing a massive amount of change in an effort to continue to provide high standards of care while keeping up with demand.

“To do so we have had to undertake a fundamental review of the way that we operate so that we put the maximum amount of our budget into frontline care,” he said.

“This has involved providing additional training to existing staff while recruiting hundreds of new paramedics.

“In addition we have been re-organising our estate so that we can get our vehicles closer to the people that need them.”

In November last year WMAS launched the NHS 111 non-emergency line after NHS Direct was forced to back out of the contract.

Run from the organisation’s headquarters in Brieley Hill, the service is staffed by non-clinically trained health advisers and trained clinicians and receives about 2,000 calls every weekday and 4,000 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mr Marsh said the organisation was working closely with the NHS, GPs, mental health workers, trade associations and community groups to improve its services.

“Together we can ensure patients remain at the forefront of everything that we do,” he said.

“We think we have a bright future going forward and this film tells you a little bit more about how we have been transforming West Midlands Ambulance Service.”

The film is available in a range of languages including sign language and can be found at www.wmas.nhs.uk.