Paramedics in the South are set to receive a £410,000 grant to pursue innovation projects. NHS Charities Together has allocated South Central Ambulance Charity (SCAC) the investment to support a number of new ventures to improve the service.
Upcoming projects which will benefit from the funding include more advanced training programmes for Community First Responders (CFRs) and care home staff, along with 17 new LUCAS 3 mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) devices.
The investment will allow South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) to become the first ambulance trust in the UK to train a group of CFRs – members of the public who can care for patients in emergencies before paramedics arrive, sometimes providing lifesaving assistance – in reaching accurate and early diagnoses through diagnostic tests including electrocardiograms (ECGs) and urinalysis. This training will also assist care home staff in discerning whether or not an ambulance is required when treating residents.
There are currently more than 1200 CFRs and Co-Responders – members of the fire service, police, coastguard and military who volunteer in their spare time – at SCAS, covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire and providing invaluable care at more than 30,000 incidents a year.
Vanessa Casey, Chief Executive of South Central Ambulance Charity, said: ‘We are delighted to have secured this grant for the charity which has been awarded thanks to the exceptional support from the public and NHS Charities Together. It will enable us to increase the support we are able to give to our CFRs through life-saving equipment and further training to develop the programme, as well as supporting our staff with important equipment such as LUCAS devices.’
The investment comes as part of a nationwide initiative by NHS Charities Together, providing £7 million worth of investment in ambulance services across the UK.