Motorcycle paramedics responding to emergencies in Croydon

Header_Logo-templante-lasParamedics on motorcycles are responding to emergencies in Croydon to provide a better life-saving response to more patients.

The motorcycle response unit, which started running out of Croydon ambulance station in June, is set to continue until April 2014 to ensure that Croydon continues to receive a safe service during the winter months.

The motorcycle responder goes to Croydon’s emergency calls from 6:30am to 11:30pm seven days a week and last month went to 150 incidents categorised as our most seriously ill or injured patients.croydon mru

Ambulance Operations Manager for Croydon, Victoria Graham said: “In built-up areas motorcycle paramedics can respond to 999 emergency calls more quickly than ambulances and cars, and can assess patients and administer life-saving medical treatment while an ambulance is on the way.

“With winter underway we have plans in place to ensure we maintain a safe service to those living and working in Croydon and the motorcycle responders are a fantastic way to reach those who need us quickly”.

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It’s London Air Ambulance’s 25th birthday today. Help them buy a second helicopter

Header_Logo-templante-airambToday London Air Ambulance celebrates its 25th birthday. Since its formation, the advanced trauma team have attended most major accidents in the city and have treated over 30,000 critically injured patients. As a charity, they are heavily dependent on public donations to keep up their vital work. For this special birthday it’s asking people to show their support so that it can buy a much-needed second helicopter and also recruit more pilots and fire crew. This would allow it to extend its daylight flying hours in the summer months, and therefore help an estimated 400 additional people each year.

To find out more about London Air Ambulance and to donate head to

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Busy night for London’s St John Ambulance volunteers on New Year’s Eve

Header_Logo-templantestjSt John Ambulance staffed 13 treatment centres in London during New Year’s Eve. Teams of cycling first aiders from both St John Ambulance and the London Ambulance Service were used to reach casualties in the early evening, as the crowds were building, with special bikes carrying medical gases, defibrillators and other life saving first aid equipment.

Katherine Eaton, Events Manager for London St John Ambulance, said: ‘Our highly skilled team consists of more than 200 doctors, nurses, paramedics and first aiders, all trained and ready to deal with anything from a cut finger to a cardiac arrest.

Medical crews, aided by St John Ambulance volunteers, cared for 438 patients at more than a dozen treatment sites in central London. They sent 88 injured people to hospital.

St John Ambulance treatment centre in the Mall

Photo courtesy of Barry King

London Ambulance Service Chief Executive Ann Radmore and London Ambulance Service Director of Operations Jason Killens visiting the St John Ambulance treatment centre in Waterloo

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Ambulance service exceptionally busy as London welcomes 2014

Header_Logo-templante-lasAs thousands of revellers across the capital welcomed in the New Year, London Ambulance Service had an exceptionally busy night taking over 600 emergency calls an hour at its peak.

Control room staff answered a total of 2,588 emergency calls between midnight and 5am when normally they’d only respond to around 180 an hour.

Much of the increased demand was due to people becoming unwell because they’d had too much to drink.

Assistant Director of Operations, Katy Millard, who led the Service’s response on New Year’s Eve, said: “It’s the busiest night of the year for us and unfortunately not everyone was using us wisely. Many of our medics were tied up helping people with drink related illnesses and injuries – preventing them from responding to other patients.”

To help manage the increased demand, the Service worked with St John Ambulance to run 13 treatment centres in central London where staff treated 438 patients and took 88 to hospital.

Most of the patients in the centres had alcohol-related illnesses or injuries. Many were helped to sober up and treated for minor injuries before being discharged.

In the busy central London area medics worked on foot in teams of three – a paramedic, technician and St John Ambulance volunteer – carrying full medical equipment with them.

Katy said: “Every year we work closely with St John Ambulance at temporary treatment centres to ensure people out celebrating receive the most appropriate medical care as quickly as possible. By caring for people in treatment centres we can avoid taking them to busy A&E departments.”

While it’s been a busy night the Service is concerned it may also be a busy New Year’s Day. Katy said: “Many Londoners will be waking up feeling unwell after a heavy night. We would encourage them to consider using other NHS Services such as pharmacies or walk-in centers or call 111 for health advice.”

New Year’s Eve figures

The Service’s control room usually takes an average of 180 calls an hour. The breakdown of calls per hour was as follows:

New Year’s Day 2014

Hour Number of calls received in the control room
00.00 – 01.00 469
01.00 – 02.00 604
02.00 – 03.00 612
03.00 – 04.00 491
04.00 – 05.00 412

Total number of calls 00:00 – 05:00 2,588





London Ambulance Service Flickr

Photo courtesy of Josh Smith

Photo courtesy of Barry King

Paramedics John, Adam and Michael having a meal before heading out into the event area

Final briefing for LAS medics and volunteers from St John Ambulance working in the event area tonight

Some of the medics before they head out on foot into the event area. Crowds too dense for ambulances

This is Louise, a duty station officer, who will be helping manage crowds at Waterloo Station

One of the casualty retrieval units working in the Mall


One of the casualty retrieval units has brought a man into the centre who is very drunk and lost his shoes

Two of the medics Dom and Harry braving the cold wet weather to care for patients in central London

Tactical advisor Chris Hawkswell is dispatching crews from the event control room

Emma is monitoring CCTV cameras in the central London area from the event control room

Photo courtesy of Dom Stark

Medics and St John volunteers “looking after Londoners” at Waterloo Station Photo courtesy of Jason Killens

Medics and St John volunteers “looking after Londoners” at Waterloo Station Photo courtesy of Jason Killens

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Busy start to the New Year for London Air Ambulance

Header_Logo-templante-airambThe 16 missions on January 1 (from midnight NYE) included 5 road traffic collisions and 1 shooting.

Next week is London Air Ambulance’s 25th anniversary. If you’ve been helped by London Air Ambulance, have pictures or stories please email


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Emergency calls set to soar as London welcomes in 2014

Header_Logo-templante-lasLondon Ambulance Service is gearing up for its biggest night of the year when thousands of revellers descend on the city to welcome in the New Year.

New Year’s Eve is expected to be an exceptionally busy night and the Service is asking party-goers to drink sensibly and only call in a genuine emergency.

new year's eve 2012 200x300Last year – at the busiest times – the Service was taking over 600 calls an hour when normally it would only take around 180.

Assistant Director of Operations, Katy Millard, who is leading the Service’s response on New Year’s Eve, said: “It will be a busy night for us across the capital as Londoners go out to celebrate. But we’re also expecting hundreds of thousands of people to attend the event in central London.”

To help respond to anyone who becomes unwell or injured in the event area, 200 St John Ambulance volunteers will run 13 treatment centres. While medics in the event area will work in teams of three – a paramedic, technician and St John Ambulance volunteer – on foot, carrying full medical equipment with them, including a defibrillator, oxygen and a carry sheet to use as a stretcher. They will be able to weave in and out of the crowds where it is too busy to take an ambulance.

Katherine Eaton, Events Manager for London St John Ambulance, said: “If you need medical help make your way, if you can, to one of our treatment centres. In an emergency ask for help – or get a friend or passer-by to do it for you – from a steward, security official, first aid volunteer or police officer. Only dial 999 as a last resort.”

Katy added: “Many of the people we are called to on New Year’s Eve have injured themselves or become unwell because they’ve had too much to drink.

“We want people to have a good time but not get so drunk that they need an emergency ambulance and the help of two medics. Please don’t let this happen to you as we need to ensure our ambulances are available for those who genuinely need them on what we’re expecting to be the busiest night of the year.

“Every year we get busier and busier so our New Year’s message to Londoners is use us wisely and only call in an emergency. Where possible please consider using other NHS services such as a pharmacy, GP surgery or walk-in centres or by calling 111 for non-emergency health advice.”

How you can have a safe night out

* Eat before drinking: food soaks up alcohol, slowing it down on its way into the bloodstream. It will provide more energy, and lessen the effects the next day.
* Drink lighter beers: stronger continental beers are popular, but make for a messy night and a bigger hangover. The difference between a pint of 5% lager, and a 3.5% or 4% one is one unit.
* Set a drinks limit: plan what to drink in an evening and stick to it.
* Have a strategic soft drink: this keeps the body hydrated, and will lessen the effects the next day.
* Avoid drinking in rounds: this can often mean drinking at a faster pace set by another one of the group.
* Be your own person: nobody should feel as though they should have to drink something if they don’t want to, and real friends should respect each others’ wishes.
* Keep track of what you’ve had: it is hard to say ‘That’s my limit tonight’ if you don’t know how much you’ve had.
* Use more mixers: diluting a drink with another mixer will make it last longer, and lessen the effects.
* Drink smaller drinks: A large glass of wine in most bars is equivalent to a third of a bottle!
* Plan your journey home: Don’t leave it to chance – think about how you’re going to get home, and who with, before you go out. Make arrangements before you start drinking, and make sure you don’t get left to walk home alone.

Locations of the 13 St John treatment centres:

1. Trafalgar Square (west side)
2. Charing Cross Station
3. Parliament Square / Great George Street
4. Belvedere Road / Westminster Bridge Road
5. The Mall (near the Duke of York Steps)
6. Whitehall Court
7. Embankment Place
8. Temple Place / Surrey Street
9. BFI IMAX Cinema
10. Savoy Place / Embankment
11. Waterloo Station
12. Leicester Square
13. Piccadilly Circus

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St George’s Hospital (Major Trauma Centre)

Header_Logo-templantestgeorgeSt George’s Hospital is the major trauma centre for south west London and Surrey trauma network covering a population of around 2.6 million. St George’s receives and treats approximately 120 patients every month as a a result of trauma.

The idea behind trauma networks is that ambulance crews are trained to take patients to the nearest hospital with appropriate facilities and expertise on-site to treat their injuries. This means that patients with the most severe injuries are identified and taken quickly to St George’s, often bypassing the nearest hospital Emergency Department. St George’s has all the specialist facilities and staff to care for patients with serious life-threatening injuries, such as stabbings, gunshot wounds and following road traffic accidents.

The major trauma team is responsible for oversight of the provision of care to patients brought to St George’s with severe injuries.


St George’s is major trauma centre with eight resuscitation bays each with a large bed space to allow emergency care staff to manage the most complex of cases. The unit also houses a dedicated overhead x-ray system built into the ceiling of the department.

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Redesigned NHS emergency ambulance among top 3 most-voted innovations at WISH Qatar

Header_Logo-templantewish-qThe Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design’s award-winning redesign of the emergency ambulance was among the top three most-voted for innovations on show at the World Innovation Summit on Healthcare (WISH), held in Qatar on 10-11 December 2013.

WISH is a high-profile international event convened by medical pioneer Professor Ara Darzi of Imperial College London, which is set to attract global leaders in healthcare from business and government and the charitable sector.

The redesign of the ambulance aims to improve mobile healthcare by providing a better treatment space for ambulance crews and patients. It marks a collaboration between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the University of the West of England and the London Ambulance Service.

The Problem

The interior of the emergency ambulance is difficult to clean and difficult to stock  –  and problematic for paramedics in terms of providing better patient care.

The Process

This project set out to make the treatment space of the emergency ambulance fit for 21st century healthcare. Building on six years of research at the RCA, the study began with the designers joining ambulance crews on callouts during 12-hour shifts. Key insights were translated into sketch designs; a full-scale test rig was mocked up in cardboard and foam. Front line paramedics, clinicians, patients, academic researchers, engineers and designers then worked together in a co-design process to develop and evaluate proposals, resulting in a full-size mobile demonstrator of the new interior.

The Results

The new ambulance reconfigures and redesigns the layout of the patient treatment space. There is 360° access to the patient, which not only improves clinical efficiency but also enhances patient safety. The new interior is designed to be easy to clean. Equipment packs containing specific treatment consumables aid clinical performance, infection control and stock control. A new digital diagnostics and communications system is also presented.

Download Redesigning the Emergency Ambulance pdf (2.9MB) HERE


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New edition of London Ambulance News available now

Header_Logo-templante-lasAmbulance News is London Ambulance Service’s quarterly newspaper providing you with news on what’s happening in your ambulance service.

Download the latest edition: December 2013 – Ambulance News (PDF, 722KB) HERE


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A Christmas wish from London’s Air Ambulance

Header_Logo-templante-airambEach year we wish for the biggest Christmas tree, the brightest decorations….

What if your world turns upside down…..


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