RAF Halton Co-Response Team (NF801)

It was an extremely busy year for the Team and the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) Scheme in general.

SCAS had staff committed to the Olympics and crews were drawn away from their main operating areas, so teams from RAF Halton, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Benson, RAF High Wycombe and Buckley Barracks back filled SCAS. They ran day and night shifts providing round the clock 7 days a week cover between them.

During 2012 the Scheme responded to 4781 emergency 999 calls, providing 1141 shifts, 9497.5 hours of deployment, covering 117,859 miles across Oxon, Bucks and Berks; all this from a group which numbers about 100 personnel. RAF Halton’s contribution to this was 863 emergency 999 calls, 227 shifts, 1666 hours deployed, and covering 15580 miles across mainly Bucks; all this from a team numbering 25! To the team, thank you for your brilliant efforts, dedication and utter professionalism when in the public eye dealing with what you deal with. I hope we can keep the pace up in 2013.

What has 2013 got in store? We are seeing new equipment being added to our vehicles, the addition of nasal cannula for chronic pulmonary disease is now being rolled out. Due to the acknowledged benefit we bring to the patient and the trust and our capabilities, we are now regularly being used as the eyes and ears of the Clinical Support desk (CSD) and under their guidance we are conveying the less serious patients to A+E or leaving at home and allowing other care pathways to be activated (we do not stand crews down). This task is paperwork heavy in that we complete the SCAS Patient report Form (PRF) which includes a comprehensive Patient model and the standard across the Scheme is at a good level with complementary comments from clinicians on the road.

Under the call sign NF801, RAF Halton are currently instrumental in mentoring two new teams Aborfield and Bletchley, two Army teams. So the title SCAS Co-Responder (RAF) has now changed to SCAS Co-Responder (Military) we have a Navy medic on NF801 so this is now truly a joint effort.

Distributed training package will be rolled out starting in March, this will enable each team to conduct training when and how often it likes to keep skills up, this will be in regarding SOPs and processes such as PRF, booking into A+E etc. Any clinical training will still be conducted by SCAS clinicians.

The Military covenant signed last year has started to bear fruit; a bid for £46,000 was submitted to help get a vehicle to help in the winter. A BMW X3 has been purchased and I was able to go to Manchester and talk to the company who are turning it into an Emergency Ambulance Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV). This vehicle will be used by RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe who cover Bucks and hopefully we will see it in May this year.

Steve Whitlock Team Leader NF801