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Providing exceptional patient care is at the centre of everything we do. Our robust training and development programme ensures our flight doctors and paramedics remain at the forefront of clinical excellence to give patients the greatest chance of survival and the best possible recovery.

Critical Care Paramedics (CCPs) and Specialist Trauma Paramedics (STP)

All CCPs and STPs have an experienced ambulance service paramedic background. As well as being HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) flight crew trained, they have undertaken higher academic training at Warwick University and hold post-graduate certificates in pre-hospital Critical Care.

As well as standard paramedic skills, the CCPs can undertake:

  • Advanced analgesia and procedural sedation
  • Major incident command and control
  • Advanced extrication support and management

The STPs have been trained to work on the Regional Trauma Desk at the WMAS Emergency Operations Control centre at Brierley Hill and have also been taught:

  • Finger thoracostomy
  • How to assist with resuscitative thoracotomy and surgical cricothyroidotomy
  • How to assist with limb amputation

PHEM Doctor Training

Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) training provides experienced doctors with the chance to shadow the aircrew in the pre-hospital environment, predominantly from the RAF Cosford airbase in Shropshire.

All PHEM doctors are NHS consultants or senior training doctors with a background in anaesthesia, critical care or emergency medicine. As well as being trained in their core specialities, they have all undertaken extensive pre-hospital training and can provide the following advanced skills:

  • Pre-hospital anaesthesia
  • Advanced analgesia and procedural sedation
  • Resuscitative thoracotomy
  • Finger and tube thoracostomy
  • Surgical cricothyroidotomy
  • Limb amputation
  • Major incident command and control
  • Advanced extrication support and management

MAAC operates two types of teams within the organisation:

Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT ) – a commissioned team operating 24/7 to serve the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) catchment area. This team provides on-scene advanced medical care and facilitates hyper-acute transfers from Trauma Units to Major Trauma Centres as part of the regional major trauma programme.

The MERIT team consists of a Specialist Trauma Paramedic (STP) and a pre-hospital emergency medicine (PHEM) doctor.

The MERIT team operates during the day (0700-1900) from the helicopter based at RAF Cosford, call sign HMED03, and by car at night (1900-0700), call sign MD098, which operates from a base in Oldbury, Birmingham.

MAAC – The helicopters located at our further two airbases (Strensham Services on the M5 in Worcestershire and Tatenhill airfield, near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire) operate primarily as a dual Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) flight crew, although on occasion operate with a CCP and PHEM doctor.

Clinical Governance Days

We run monthly Clinical Governance Days for all MAAC/MERIT (Medical Emergency Response Incident Team) clinicians, local clinical volunteer teams and other guests on application to the Clinical Lead, Mark Nash.

The days help ensure pre-hospital care is continuously improved and developed. Each session includes topic teaching in the morning and case reviews in the afternoon.

The topics are based around key core subjects as well as other areas of interest.

Training and Education Centre

We continue to develop our clinical teams, with the support of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS). With financial support of £241,000 from banking fines distributed by the Treasury, we were able to fund the development and delivery of a state-of-the-art simulation and training centre at our Tatenhill airbase. The building provides our clinicians with a facility where they can maintain and further develop their skills, and learn from the experience and knowledge of colleagues.

Download Doctor training for MERIT-HEMS operations guideline V2

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