Ballymena Ambulance Station Update
A contractor has been appointed to construct the new Ballymena Ambulance Station. Glasgiven Contracts will start work mid-November and are expected to be finished by December 2015. The overall cost of construction is approximately £4m.
How it will look
The new building will house the ambulance station currently residing in Braid Valley Hospital on the ground floor as well as accommodating a Divisional Headquarters on the first floor. The building will be heated by a Biomass boiler and will feature energy efficient lighting. It will provide a relaxing environment for staff and also includes a courtyard garden in between the accommodation block and the garage. We hope this design will form a template for all future ambulance stations.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service are currently in the planning stages for construction of a new ambulance station hub with associated staff and administrative facilities, district headquarters, garaging and car parking on a green field site between Ballee Road West and the Antrim Road in Ballymena. The total area of the site is 0.7892 Hectares. The gross floor area of the actual building is 1840m 2 . This is made up from 1274m 2 of functional areas, 393.5m 2 of circulation areas and 182.5m 2 of storage.
BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. The building is being designed to reach BREEAM Excellent status and is anticipated to achieve a score of 71.76%. This will be achieved through using innovative features such as a biomass boiler and LED lighting. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.
A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building's specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.
The project costs are estimated to be £5,367,329 and of this. The costs of electrical and mechanical services are expected to be £492,000 and £355,000 respectively. The electricity usage is predicted to be 90,000kWh a year which would equate to £8.70/m 2 but there is not anticipated to be any fossil fuel usage as the Biomass boiler will take the average heating load and gas will only be used as a backup. The predicted water usage is 18.25m 3 /person/year.
The new building will provide a great environment both for crews who are out on the road and administration staff who will also be based there. The Ambulance Service is using this opportunity to create an identity for itself. The colours used will reflect those of the ambulance service which will distinguish NIAS as a brand. This colour scheme and associated design elements will then be rolled out through any further construction works. This will put NIAS forward as an important civic entity and elevate it's status among the wider public.
10,000 Voices - your chance to influence the Future of Healthcare
Patient Experience is recognised as a key element in the delivery of quality healthcare. In line with this, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is carrying out an extensive piece of work across all Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs), with the aim of introducing a more patient-focused approach to services and shaping future healthcare in Northern Ireland.
This project, called ‘10,000 Voices', gives patients and staff, as well as their families and carers, the opportunity to share their overall experience and highlight anything important, such as what they particularly liked or disliked about the experience.
In partnership with the PHA, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is seeking patient stories between now and the end of March 2014. The aim is to then gather and feed back the views of local patients on issues relating to the planning and funding of health services.
Liam McIvor, NIAS Chief Executive, launching the initiative, said;
“I support the 10,000 voices initiative and welcome the opportunity to introduce another means by which we hear directly from those who use our services so that we can listen and learn, and apply that learning to improve our service.”
Doctor David McManus, Medical Director and Lead Director in this area added:
“This is an opportunity for us to hear patient stories about their experience with NIAS and use them to influence and inform the future development of the service we provide to ensure it is truly patient-centred. I would therefore commend the project to you and ask for your support. “
Members of the public, staff, service users or patients who have been or who currently use our ambulance service and who wish to participate and tell their patient story or experience from any area within Northern Ireland can either complete the survey at www.10000voices.info or request a paper version of the survey or ask for information and support by calling telephone: 028 9032 1313 ext 2497 (office hours). This can then be returned, free of charge, in the envelope provided with the survey.
HSC Staff Survey Results Available
Click here to view full report
Ambulance crew threatened with meat
cleaver in Newtownabbey 18 June 2013
Two ambulance personnel had to retreat to the safety of their vehicle earlier today when a patient whom they had attended became aggressive and moved towards them in a threatening manner wielding a meat cleaver.
The crew had been called to a house in the Newtownabbey area for the patient who appeared to be under the influence of drugs. They spent some time convincing him that he should attend hospital to be checked out. His response was to be verbally aggressive and eventually he left the house and paced the driveway and garden of the house.
As the crew were giving comfort and advice to his mother the patient returned to the house and emerged with the meat cleaver moving it in a circular motion as he approached the crew at pace.
The crew retreated to their vehicle and called for PSNI assistance. They remained in the area in case they were required at the scene.
The PSNI arrived and arrested the assailant.
Attacks on NIAS crews continue despite constant appeals for them to cease. Crews need to feel that their own safety will not be jeopardised when attending any call out.
Support of those with influence in the community is required to ensure the safety of our personnel and NIAS would also ask that sentencing in the courts should reflect the serious nature of these attacks.
NIAS Accountability Meeting
to be held in public on 25 June
The Health Minister, Edwin Poots, has decided that Arms Length Bodies associated with DHSSPS should give an account of themselves in a public forum where he will question them on their performance and future plans. He is also keen that members of the public should have an opportunity to have questions asked on their behalf.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is delighted to be hosting the first of the Health Minister's Public Facing Accountability meetings for Arm's Length Bodies.
NIAS Chief Executive, Liam McIvor, has welcomed the opportunity to showcase the work of the ambulance service in a public forum.
“The ambulance service is the safety net we all count on but hope we will never call on! Each year we deal with over 140,000 999 calls and we transport over 330,000 patients. Our paramedics in their vehicles are a constant high profile reminder of the service, but there is much more to our Service than this.
NIAS welcomes the opportunity to showcase our staff and our service and provide greater clarity on our performance and our aspirations as we strive to deliver safe high quality ambulance services to the population of Northern Ireland”
This is the first time that this type of Ministerial led accountability meeting will be held in a public forum and where the audience will also be given the opportunity to submit additional questions to be answered.
The meetings will provide an opportunity for ALBs to be held to account by the Minister around issues of public interest and serve to raise public awareness of the important work of the ALB. They will be chaired by the Patient and Client Council.
Speaking about the meetings the Minister said: “The public need to be confident that ALBs are efficient and delivering high quality services. There has been public concern that some ALBs were unaccountable and inefficient, and we need to change this perception by being open and transparent about the functions of ALBS and the Department's oversight of them.
“I have decided therefore to hold Public Facing Accountability meetings with the DHSSPS ALBs . T he first meeting will be held with NIAS. The PFA meetings will provide an opportunity for ALBs to be held to account by myself around issues of public interest and serve to raise public awareness of the important work of the ALBs. It is a good opportunity not only for the public to listen in on this type of meeting, but also submit questions of their own to be answered by the most senior people in the ALBs.''
During the first meeting, NIAS will give a short presentation on their performance over the last year and their outlook for the future. The Minister will then proceed with a question and answer session on the performance of NIAS and on issues of public interest. The audience will also be given the opportunity to submit additional questions to be answered by NIAS at the end of the session.
The Minister said: "I am looking forward to these meetings and view this as a great opportunity for Arm's Length Bodies to promote themselves and highlight their positive progress as well as being held publicly to account for their performance.”
The first meeting will be held with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) on Tuesday 25th June at 6pm – 7.30pm at NIAS Headquarters, Site 30, Knockbracken Healthcare Park and is open to the public.
If a member of the public has any special access requirements, please contact the Department of Health on 02890 528662.
Transport will be available from the entrance of Knockbracken Healthcare Park to NIAS Headquarters for any members of the public who require it.
Man who bit Paramedic appears in court.
14 May 2013
The man who, on May 1, bit a NIAS Paramedic who was attending to his injuries has appeared in court to face charges of occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of criminal damage and three of assault on police. He was granted bail but banned from drinking alcohol and must observe a nighttime curfew.
The High Court heard that PSNI arrived to find three members of the ambulance service restraining the accused on the ground. He had, prior to the arrival of the PSNI, punched kicked and spat at the crew having also bit one of the Paramedics in the hand - an injury for which the Paramedic required treatment.
The accused was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
NIAS experiencing delays in responding to 999
calls due to bad weather (22 March 2013 14:00)
As a result of the inclement weather, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is experiencing delays in responding to an already high number of emergency calls. All calls are being responded to but delays are inevitable and may continue over the next 24 to 36 hours.
However NIAS call takers continue to remain on line with callers providing reassurance and advice on how best to manage a patient or casualty while the ambulance makes it way to the scene.
Difficulties are being experienced throughout Northern Ireland in terms of access on the road network as a result of fallen trees, downed power lines and treacherous driving conditions.
In order to ensure that those most seriously ill or injured patients receive the most timely response, NIAS would ask the public to call 999 only when absolutely necessary for the duration of this period of bad weather.
Those calls which require an immediate response include sudden collapse, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, choking, severe loss of blood, severe burns or scalds, fitting, drowning and severe allergic reactions.
However if you are in doubt at all, make the call.
Attack on Ambulance personnel
attending 999 call. 13Feb 2012
Two ambulance personnel sustained injuries as they attended a call in Glenarm on Sunday night.
They were responding to an emergency call for a male patient complaining of chest pain. The Rapid Response Paramedic arrived at the scene first and had carried out an assessment of the patient when a supporting crew arrived. As the patient was being prepared for transfer to the ambulance, another male who had been in the house and who had been agitated throughout the assessment, rose to his feet to prevent the patient moving. He head butted the paramedic, who was then assisted by one of his colleagues in restraining the assailant. This enabled the third member of the ambulance service to remove the patient from the scene to the safety of the ambulance.
The two ambulance personnel then told the assailant they would release him as long as there was no repeat of his previous actions. However he then followed the staff out to the garden and attempted to further assault them. Again they used minimum force in restraining him and called for PSNI assistance. The assailant was taken into custody and the patient was taken to hospital for further tests.
One paramedic received injuries to his shoulder and arms and was unable to continue with his shift. A second crew member received a black eye and a facial cut but after a short break resumed duties.
By a strange twist of fate, this member of staff was later called to Ballymena PSNI station to attend to a patient who just happened to be the person who had assaulted him earlier and who had given him a black eye and cut face. The PSNI, realising that he had been the victim of the earlier incident, suggested that it might be more appropriate for another crew to attend. But in a display of model professionalism, he saw fit to put his personal feelings to one side and deal with a patient presented to him.
NIAS once again calls for all steps to be taken to ensure that our staff are left to tend to those whose lives may be at threat, without fear of violence of a physical or verbal nature being directed towards them. We would further seek that any person found guilty of such behaviour against our staff face the toughest of penalties available to the judiciary.