Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

A Complex Game of Tetris?

It’s 7 o’clock on a Friday night as I walk into a dimly lit room full of people sat in front of their respective computers, headsets on, ready for action. They have three or four monitors each and their eyes are darting across them all, swiftly scanning the screens, acknowledging the colour coding and assessing flashing boxes. It looks like some complex game of Tetris!

But this is not a game. It is a 999 ambulance service Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). This one happens to be in the West Midlands, but they exist across England's 10 NHS ambulance services. The teams in these centres take every 999 ambulance call for their patch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They are trained experts working autonomously but together: responding to calls, following pathways, giving evidenced based advice, allocating crews to emergencies, managing regional resources when a major incident strikes and giving virtually clinical advice to those who need it, when they need it. Everyone is focused on trying to get the best outcome for every patient.

Read more: A game of Tetris? blog


What inspired you to write this blog?

The Transforming Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery 30 Day Challenge

What is your role?

Registered Nurse and Transformation Assocate

edited on Jul 26, 2018 by Bev Matthews

Maggie Morgan Cooke 5 months ago

Great Blog and such admiration for the service. My neighbours elderly had to be rescued from a house fire a couple of weeks back. Because the husband had inhaled smoke for a short time, an ambulance was called. It was almost midnight. A community responder arrived first quickly followed by a two person ambulance. The handover between parties was clear and explained in plain english as the elderly couple sat in my lounge with the professionals. The community responder was clearly valued by the ambulance colleagues and thanked for their initial response. The assessment was very thorough and you could see the couple felt in safe hands and as an observer so did I. The assessment was excellent and I know from overhearing a conversation outside between the ambulance crew and the firemen, they should have clocked off shift a while ago but that was not obvious whilst they were doing a first class job. Pleased to say the couple were well after a good dose of oxygen and hope to move back into their house next week. I was very proud of the ambulance team who had clearly had a busy day but that did not get in the way of them delivering a very bespoke response after the fire.

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Bev Matthews 5 months ago

Thank you for sharing that fabulous example of cross boundary (and cross shift!) working Maggie. They work just a brilliantly behind the screens to - sharing information between services rather than leaving the distressed public to ring all 3 if needed.

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Libby Bell 5 months ago

Really enjoyed reading this as an outsider looking into our world. I think it's so important to show that as nurses we can work in unusual roles like this. On a daily basis as a clinician in ambulance control often contact in excess of 40 patients, assessing and making decisions quickly keeping patient safety at the heart of all our contacts. It's busy, stressful and demanding role but very rewarding. I would encourage more nurses to consider this role, but also to come and visit an ambulance control to get a better idea of the demand the service copes with and how we manage this risk.

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Bev Matthews 5 months ago

i agree Libby! have you written your blog for the Perceptions 30 Day Challenge? it would be a great way of sharing the diversity of roles in our profession

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