UK | Resuscitation Reunion – Peacehaven woman reunited with life-saving SECAmb team


A Peacehaven woman who suffered a cardiac arrest in front of the ambulance crew treating her at her home, has been reunited with her life-saving team.

Pat Jameson, 70, had contacted NHS 111 on New Year’s Eve for medical advice for arm pain she attributed to her long-term arthritis. However, when she became nauseous while on the phone to 111 Health Advisor Jill Mills, husband Roy took over the conversation and Jill quickly established the need for an immediate ambulance response.

Paramedic Luke Wheeler and Student Paramedic Michelle Goddard were first on scene and had already performed an ECG to check Pat’s heart. Just as their colleagues Advanced Ambulance Technician Steve Pope and Emergency Care Support Worker Adam Doughty arrived, Pat suddenly went into cardiac arrest and her heart required a shock with a defibrillator to bring it back into a normal rhythm. With their defibrillator immediately to hand from the initial check, they administered a shock and the team set about resuscitating Pat.

After being stabilised, Pat was rushed to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where further expert treatment was required when she needed six more shocks from a defibrillator before being fitted with a stent. Within just three and a half hours after suffering the original cardiac arrest Pat was recovering on a ward and was able to return home just five days later.

Although nursing some very sore broken ribs from the chest compressions she received, she has made an amazing recovery and recently met with the ambulance team when they were reunited at Newhaven Ambulance Station.

Pat, who will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary to Roy next year said: “My family and I are just so grateful for everything everyone did. Everyone worked so hard to help me and my time isn’t up because of them. The doctors in the hospital were amazing too. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been lovely to meet the ambulance team again in better circumstances.”

Roy added: “We’re so thankful. If Pat had had chest pain and tightness too we wouldn’t have hesitated to call 999 but it’s obviously vital that the 111 service can also spot a potentially life-threatening situation too. I’d urge anyone who has any of the symptoms of a heart attack to act immediately and seek help.”

Paramedic and Clinical Team Leader Luke said: “It’s great to see Pat looking so well and we’re obviously delighted she’s made such a good recovery and has been able to meet with us. Everyone involved from Jill in the 111 service, our teamwork at the scene and the great treatment she received at the hospital was instrumental in the outcome. Michelle did particularly well. As a second year student she had volunteered for some additional shifts over the festive period. It was the first witnessed cardiac arrest she had been involved in and she was also excellent in helping to reassure Roy who was obviously witnessing everything.”

Pat is sure her outlook on life has changed since her cardiac arrest and added: “It does change your outlook. It’s made me realise I shouldn’t take anything for granted and the simple things hit home such as looking out into our garden at the birds and thinking ‘I might not have been here to see this.’”

UK | Tributes paid to dedicated EEAST ambulance officer


Tributes have been paid to a dedicated ambulance worker who passed away after a battle with cancer.

Dozens of colleagues gathered in King’s Lynn for the funeral of Colin Grundy, a qualified student ambulance paramedic, who died last month and was based at the town’s ambulance station.

The 63-year-old – a former car salesman and restaurant owner – joined the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) five years ago after deciding to change careers.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2014 and passed away on 12th February.

Colleagues formed a guard of honour for his final journey to King’s Lynn Crematorium on Friday (27th February).

Terry Hicks, EEAST Senior Locality Manager for West Norfolk, said: “Colin changed career late in life to become a student paramedic and took to it as though he had been doing this for far longer.

“He was a proud, enthusiastic, and dedicated man, embodying everything that is good about the ambulance service. He will be missed by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him, leaving a legacy that it is never too old to take on a new challenge.”

Paramedic Chris Steele, who trained alongside Colin, added: “He was a fantastic technician and he had a lot of respect from his peers.”

UK | Resuscitation Reunion – Grandfather thanks lifesavers after golf course cardiac arrest in Norfolk


A grandfather has paid tribute to the “amazing” ambulance staff who helped save his life at a Norfolk golf club.

Glyn Bishop was just minutes from finishing his round at a competition at Gorleston Golf Club when he collapsed just before the 18th green on 13th November.

After making a recovery from the dramatic ordeal, the 70-year-old, from Lowestoft was able this week to say a big ‘thank you’ to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) crews who came to his aid.

His fellow golfers on that day – Alan Bidwell, John Smith and Andy Crisp –  were also praised for performing effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and quickly calling 999 when they realised Glyn was not breathing and had no pulse.

The Trust received a call at 2.42pm and Call Handler Kylie Joy gave CPR advice over the phone until the arrival of the first ambulance crew, which was on scene in under two minutes.

The crew included Paramedic Paul Rampley, senior Emergency Medical Technician David Tandy and Student Paramedic David Draper, followed by Paramedics Emma Strawson and Peter Jordan, and Emergency Care Assistant James Taylor.

Glyn received five shocks from a defibrillator and adrenaline to get his heart beating again.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance also attended and Dr Marcel Rigaud and Critical Care Paramedic Neil Flowers continued treatment while they airlifted him to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

The keen golfer was in hospital for 15 days before being discharged.

Glyn, a member of Rookery Park Golf Club in Carlton Colville, was reunited with the ambulance staff at Gorleston Golf Club on 25th February said: “It is strange going back, but I can not remember anything that happened on the day, it is a total blank.

“It is amazing [to meet the ambulance staff], they are amazing people. I became very emotional and it was very difficult to meet them today.”

David Draper added: “It was the perfect chain of survival. As soon as it happened, someone was doing CPR and someone phoned the emergency services. He received early defibrillation, a paramedic gave adrenaline and he got rapid transport to hospital.”

John, who was Glyn’s playing partner on the day, added: “We definitely thought we had lost him. He had no sign of life at all and had no pulse. The ambulance staff were absolutely wonderful.”

UK | Bolton businesses to deploy up to 15 new AEDs provided by NWAS

Residents in Bolton are to benefit from up to 15 new vital life-saving pieces of equipment provided by North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS).

Funded by Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, the 15 businesses within the town have each received an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as a donation from NWAS.

In cases of cardiac arrest, AEDs deliver an electric pulse through the chest, in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm.  A patient’s chance of survival decreases 10 per cent for every one minute that passes without defibrillation; with the application of an AED within five minutes of collapse, the best possible chance of survival is maintained.

David McNally, Community Resuscitation Manager for Greater Manchester, said: “It’s great to see businesses in Bolton taking steps to get vital life-saving equipment that will benefit both their employees and members of the public nearby. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, it is vital to recognise the emergency, to start CPR but also to get the AED and apply the pads. The machines are so simple to use and you really cannot do any further harm to the patient. They only allow you to deliver a shock if a patient is in a specific rhythm.”

David adds: “The placement of these defibrillators in public places is already saving lives across the North West. It is raising awareness on CPR and why it is so important to recognise a cardiac arrest and start providing help.

“The Chain of Survival initiative focuses on four key immediate actions, which when delivered in sequence will give the patient a greater chance of survival; these are:  early access – call 999, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care.  By having access to a defibrillator and a trained user on site, it means that three of these life-saving actions can be carried out, possibly before the ambulance has even arrived.”

NWAS launched a campaign last month at the House of Commons calling for it to be compulsory to place AEDs in all public places, and is striving to make it compulsory for school leavers to learn crucial life-saving skills such as CPR.

The Trust also encourages organisations to register their defibrillator with the ambulance service through the Cardiac Smart website and by clicking on the tab “tell us about your defibrillator”.

For advice and information regarding public defibrillators, contact Community Resuscitation Manager David McNally by email at

UK | Community-funded defibrillator installed at Cambridgeshire sports pavilion


A Cambridgeshire village has received a lifesaving new addition following the unveiling of a community-funded defibrillator.

The new community public access defibrillator has been installed in Willingham after being purchased by the parish council.

The defibrillator, to be used on a person who has gone into cardiac arrest, is in position on the front wall of the sports pavilion in West Fen Road.

Someone in cardiac arrest means they’re unconscious and not breathing, and so early intervention and using this kind of device can make the vital difference in the critical first minutes before a community first responder or ambulance crew arrives.

Access to the defibrillator is via a key code held by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and is given out when someone calls 999 about a cardiac arrest.

The idea for the defibrillator came about when Dean Greygoose, chairman of Willingham Wolves Football Club, approached Councillor Jamie Smith, Lead for Leisure and Amenities at Willingham Parish Council, three months ago.

“When it was brought before the parish council, it was decided to go for a community access defibrillator and had majority backing from the minute it was raised. We felt it was the right thing to do in case of the worst case scenario and it would benefit the whole community, not just the sporting community,” said Cllr Smith.

Willingham Parish Council intends to hold an awareness session in April in conjunction with EEAST.

Jon Needle, EEAST Community Partnership Manager for Suffolk and south Cambridgeshire, said: “I’d like to congratulate Willingham Parish Council on making this investment. The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest are vital and early defibrillation is key. More defibrillators in our communities will potentially save more lives.”

UK | St Albans County Councillor helps install a life-saving community funded defibrillator


The community of St. Albans will benefit from having access to a life-saving piece of equipment.

Sandy Walkington, County Councillor for St Albans, alongside the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and the lead of the St Albans Community First Responder (CFR) group installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) in Boots last week (Friday 27th February).

Councillor Walkington also donated £500 to the St. Albans CFR group, which has allowed the group to buy another defibrillator for an additional kit bag for local CFR volunteers.

Steve Catley, EEAST Community Partnership Manager, who attended the installation, said: “We are pleased to see these defibrillators being placed in local communities, as part of our scheme to roll out 180 defibrillators across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. We will be holding awareness sessions so people have an understanding of how an Automated External Defibrillator is used although, they are very easy to use – once you have switched the machine on, voice instructions are provided.

“By having this life saving equipment with the patient in the first few vital minutes of a cardiac arrest will potentially help save more lives.”

This latest installation is part of EEAST’s project to place 1,000 defibrillators across the six counties it serves. The AEDs are being placed in locations where they can be easily accessible, be of most benefit to local communities and assist to help to save more lives.

The defibrillators, which help make a difference in the vital first minutes when someone goes into cardiac arrest, will be used when someone helping the patient is given an access code by a 999 call handler, enabling them to unlock the defibrillator.

The first batch of new defibrillators have been placed and it is hoped that all 1,000 will be in position by the 31st March.

UK | Workplace violence – Man who urinated on paramedic receives fine and is sentenced to 150 hours community service

A man who urinated from a balcony on to a London Ambulance Service paramedic has been given community service.

Andrew Whitehead, 22, from Shoreditch, relieved himself from the fourth floor balcony of an address on Shoreditch High Street onto Paramedic Lorna McIlwaine, the patient she was treating and a police officer at around 1am on Saturday 31 January.

Lorna said: “I’d been called to treat a man who had suffered an unprovoked attack in a shop. He had a black eye and his nose had been broken and he was feeling very shaken.

“I was walking him to my response car with a police officer when, without any warning, I felt a splash. I didn’t know what it was at first but it became very clear it was a bodily fluid.

“I looked up and there was a man standing there, exposing himself to the whole street, laughing.”

Police arrested Mr Whitehead and he was charged on the same night.

Lorna, 30, added: “I’ve been physically assaulted once before in my career and threatened as well, but what made this different was it felt so personal, and while all I was doing was helping a patient who was already shaken after being attacked.

“What makes it even more frustrating is that I needed to return to my station to change my uniform and fill in my report, which prevented me from responding to patients.”

Mr Whitehead was fined £745 and sentenced to 150 hours’ community service at Thames Magistrate Court on Friday 20 February.

Deputy Director of Operations Katy Millard said: “To treat our ambulance crews in such a demeaning and humiliating way is completely unacceptable. Our paramedics are only trying to care for patients in their time of need.

“Medics are already under a great deal of pressure. It is completely unacceptable that they should also face the risk of this treatment or worse when they go to assist members of the public.”

UK | LAS paramedic calls on Crystal Palace residents to set up lifesaving defibrillator scheme

Local businesses in Newham encouraged to get a defibrillator at training event Ambulance crews with resuscitation dummies and defibrillators will be showing local businesses and shoppers how they can become heroes and save someone?s life in five minutes at an event in the Stratford Shopping Centre on Wednesday 22 October. The event, which is being supported by Newham Council, is part of the London Ambulance Service?s Shockingly Easy campaign to urge local businesses to get a defibrillator, a machine that can shock the heart to restart it when it?s in cardiac arrest.  London Ambulance Service Chairman, Richard Hunt CBE, said:   ?Our latest data shows that there were 304 out of hospital cardiac arrests in Newham in a year and 43 of these occurred in the street and locations like workplaces, gyms, shops, public transport and places of worship.? ?When you have a cardiac arrest your heart stops, blood is no longer being pumped around the body and you are clinically dead. ?It?s crucial that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR ? chest compressions and rescue breaths) and defibrillation is given to the patient in the first three to four minutes.  ?Around 28 per cent of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest but, where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 per cent.? The council?s offices at Newham Dockside are already equipped with London Ambulance Service?s accredited defibrillators and it is hoped other organisations in Newham will follow suit. Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral adviser for adults and health, said: ?We are proud to support the Shockingly Easy Campaign and I urge every business in Newham to get a defibrillator installed. It?s absolutely vital that these life-saving machines are within easy reach of anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest as it could save their life.? The London Ambulance Service?s Shockingly Easy campaign aims to get at least 1,000 extra defibrillators in shops, businesses, gyms and high footfall areas across London. For more information on how to get a defibrillator for your organisation and training on how to use it call the Shockingly Easy campaign on 020 7783 2366 or visit Notes to editors -	Defibrillator training will begin at 9am on 22 October in the Stratford Shopping Centre -	There will be a photo opportunity at 12pm with ambulance crews and Newham Councillor Clive Furness. For more information or interview requests please contact the London Ambulance Service?s communications department on 020 7783 2286 Interesting facts - London Ambulance Service?s Shockingly Easy campaign provides support and advice to organisations on: ?	buying and installing a defibrillator ?	training staff on how to use a defibrillator ?	how to maintain their defibrillators and to become accredited with the London Ambulance Service ?	dispelling myths on defibrillators - There are around 10,000 cardiac arrests every year in London ? that is 27 a day. - A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and can be a result of heart attack, choking or trauma. - A cardiac arrest is different to a heart attack which happens when an artery becomes obstructed, restricting the flow of blood to the heart. The most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain, though there are other symptoms. Left untreated it can lead to a cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating. For More info contact: Communications Department London Ambulance Service NHS Trust 220 Waterloo Road London SE1 8SD Phone: 020 7783 2286A paramedic has started a local Shockingly Easy campaign in Crystal Palace to encourage residents to learn to save someone’s life if their heart stops beating, also known as cardiac arrest.

Tim Chivers, who has been a frontline London Ambulance Service worker for 13 years, will be putting on a number of training sessions during March to teach Crystal Palace residents how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and to use a defibrillator, a machine that can shock the heart to restart it when it’s in cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest is a serious public health issue in London. Every year, there are around 10,000 incidents but many of them are survivable if the patient receives prompt CPR and defibrillation – the first three to four minutes are crucial.

Tim said: “Around 32 per cent of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest but, where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 per cent.”

“The training sessions will be a great opportunity for residents to learn some valuable skills that could potentially save the life of a relative, friend or neighbour.

“I have lived in Crystal Palace for seven years and I know that the residents are very community minded and look out for each other. It will be a pleasure to be able to contribute something to the local community.”

If you are interested in attending one of the training sessions or would like information on purchasing a defibrillator for your local community or organisation please call the Shockingly Easy campaign on 020 7783 2366 or go to

The London Ambulance Service’s Shockingly Easy campaign aims to get at least 1,000 extra defibrillators into London. In its first eight months, the campaign has put an additional 650 defibrillators in the capital and saved at least 11 Londoners’ lives.

UK | London Ambulance Service heads back to Australia

London Ambulance Service is heading back to Australia in March after successfully recruiting 175 paramedics last September.

A team will interview and assess over 250 paramedics in Sydney and Melbourne between 9 and 20 March keen to work for the worlds’ busiest ambulance service.

Many Australian medics recruited in September are already treating patients on the streets of London.

One of them is 22-year-old Mitchell Hand from Bulli, New South Wales, who studied at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

He said: “There is such a diverse range of people here in London, different cultures and languages as well as exposure to all different types of patients.

“There’s so much to do, see and experience not only when you are at work but outside of work too. It’s a wonderful opportunity. For anyone at home considering working in London – book your flight – you would be crazy not to and you’ll regret it.”

Opportunities for paramedics in London include working on a car, motorbike, bicycle and helicopter, as well as specialist teams trained to work in hazardous or potentially dangerous environments.

Director of Operations Jason Killens said: “The Australian paramedics that we’ve already recruited are doing a fantastic job. They’re extremely enthusiastic, have a great work ethic and are keen to progress, which is why we’re going back to recruit more.

“As well as recruiting from the UK, we’re recruiting Australian paramedics because their skills closely match ours and there is only a three-week familiarisation course and driver training before they can begin work with us.”

More paramedics are needed in London due to year-on-year increases in demand and a national shortage of paramedics making it difficult to recruit within the UK. While the Service is working with universities to increase paramedic places on courses, and training paramedics in-house, more are needed to bridge the gap until these are qualified.

The team will also visit universities in Melbourne and Sydney to urge future paramedic graduates to consider a career with the London Ambulance Service.

For more information about working for the Service visit

UK | LAS – Greenwich paramedic to receive Royal Commendation for saving lives in Afghanistan

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A Paramedic from Greenwich is due to receive the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service after saving lives in Afghanistan, where he was deployed as an army medic.

Ben Spittle, 30, from Bromley, has been in the army reserves for eight years and part of London Ambulance Service for six, took six months off over 2013/2014 to be deployed to Asia, where he served as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Ben has been nominated for a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service, after an operation to destroy Taliban strongholds in November 2013 resulted in a number of Afghan soldiers needing urgent medical care.

The army has said Ben “showed incredible skill and composure, dealing with life threatening injuries with the most basic makeshift medical facilities.”

Ben, who attributes his work in the Service to his calm composure on that day, has since been promoted to Corporal.

He said: “It really was a team effort so I like to think that this award is for everyone working that day.

“I had the best possible experience preparing for this by dealing with trauma scenes on a day to day basis. Working for the Service really helped me manage my stress levels and take control of the situation.”

The Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service recognises meritorious service during or in support of operations. Ben will meet the Queen and collect his commendation later this year.

Be well. Practice big medicine.