WMAS recognised as leading digital Trust

Pictured left to right: Operational Support Services Director, Craig Cooke, Head of IM&T and WMAS GDE Programme Lead, Phil Collins and NHS Digital Engagement Lead for Midlands, Ian Nelson.

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust has been accredited as a 2022 Global Digital Exemplar.

The Trust’s ability to utilise world-class digital tools is what’s helped it to become one of just two ambulance services in the country to receive accreditation from NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of its Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme.

A GDE is an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering improvements in the quality of patient care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information. Exemplars will share their learning and experiences through the creation of blueprints to enable other Trusts to follow in their footsteps as quickly and effectively as possible.

Through the GDE projects, the Trust has significantly changed access to records for WMAS clinicians whilst with patients.  By accepting and embracing the range of systems that are available, they have integrated with multiple platforms to provide access to what is available, and access has grown as systems were brought online.  Through accessing the patient’s record, clinicians can make better decisions for their patients as they are better informed about diagnoses and treatment plans that are in place.  In the 20/21 year, access to records when a crew attends a patient, grew to 58.9% against a national target of 5%.

The Digital Maturity theme covered a collection of projects that aimed to enhance the digital capability of the Trust.  One of the later projects within this area related to digitising the WMAS ‘Make Ready’ processes, where Vehicle Preparation Operatives get vehicles ready for their next shift at our 15 operational hubs. This has seen staff move from working off whiteboard and paper sheets to a rolling digital screen. Crews now refer to the screen which contains the information they need to identify their vehicle. This benefit extends beyond the garage, as management teams have easy access to vehicle availability and can update crew information remotely.

Operational Support Services Director, Craig, Cooke, said: “A huge amount of work has been completed over the last few years to get to this point, and I want to thank all the staff who have taken on and completed the GDE. We’re now recognised against an international standard of digital capability and maturity and being one of just two ambulance services in the country to achieve this accolade is very special.”

Head of IM&T and WMAS GDE Programme Lead, Phil Collins, added: “Traditionally we have focussed on delivering IT equipment, but Digital draws more attention to how technology is used and the impact on patients, and this change of perspective helps deliver more benefit to our community.”