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St. John Ambulance Blue light drivers?

littlewoman

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Jan 2, 2008
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#1
Can anyone tell me what "blue light ambulance drivers" for St. John Ambulance actually do.

The reason I ask is because one of our local election candidates is citing this as part of her medical experience, health cuts being a big issue in the area. She has claimed that she has driven the 40 miles to out next nearest hospital on blue lights. What I am trying to understand is do these people do medical care above the normal first aid, are they employed or just occasional volunteers, and what circumstances would they be used to take someone that far to hospital on blue lights rather than using the NHS ambulance.

I have asked St. John Ambulance but can't get a reply,
 

medic234

New Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
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#2
Hi

There is no such thing as a 'blue light ambulance driver' in St John, or certainly not in the context that being a standalone role.

If you have been in St john for a while and reached the level of emergency transport attendant, or nowadays what they are calling EMT you can get sent on a blue light course, either IHCD or RoSPA though this is very rare for volunteers, it is normally for members who do commercial (paid) ambulance cover for the local NHS trusts, either full time or ad-hoc

Skills wise a St john ETA is in some void between an ECA and an IHCD tech, and the training levels differ depending on the region and weather they are volunteer or commercial, basic skills are:

Ambulance aid- Using stretchers, carry chairs, spine boards, scoops, C spine collars, immobilisation, splints etc
Medical and traumatic emergencies- Recognition and treatment/stabilisation of common injuries and illnesses
Assisting the paramedic/hcp with Cannulation, intubation and infusion
Diagnostics- HR, RR, FAST test, pulse ox, blood pressure, temperature. Not usually blood glucose unless commercial
Basic life support- CPR, automatic defibrillation, bag-valve-mask, airway management (OPA/NPA)
Basic paediatric emergencies

The simplest way to put it is an NHS Emergency care assistant with a few extras

As for travelling to a further hospital on blue lights there could be several reasons........ the further hospital has specialist treatment facilities, could have been an emergency transfer/GP referral to that hospital, the nearer hospital was very busy.

Using a St John ambulance instead of an NHS ambulance is standard practice if that ambulance was on frontline NHS contract and to be honest there is virtually no difference between the two

Hope that helps
 

littlewoman

Longterm Registered User
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
3,031
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437
#3
Hi

There is no such thing as a 'blue light ambulance driver' in St John, or certainly not in the context that being a standalone role.

If you have been in St john for a while and reached the level of emergency transport attendant, or nowadays what they are calling EMT you can get sent on a blue light course, either IHCD or RoSPA though this is very rare for volunteers, it is normally for members who do commercial (paid) ambulance cover for the local NHS trusts, either full time or ad-hoc

Skills wise a St john ETA is in some void between an ECA and an IHCD tech, and the training levels differ depending on the region and weather they are volunteer or commercial, basic skills are:

Ambulance aid- Using stretchers, carry chairs, spine boards, scoops, C spine collars, immobilisation, splints etc
Medical and traumatic emergencies- Recognition and treatment/stabilisation of common injuries and illnesses
Assisting the paramedic/hcp with Cannulation, intubation and infusion
Diagnostics- HR, RR, FAST test, pulse ox, blood pressure, temperature. Not usually blood glucose unless commercial
Basic life support- CPR, automatic defibrillation, bag-valve-mask, airway management (OPA/NPA)
Basic paediatric emergencies

The simplest way to put it is an NHS Emergency care assistant with a few extras

As for travelling to a further hospital on blue lights there could be several reasons........ the further hospital has specialist treatment facilities, could have been an emergency transfer/GP referral to that hospital, the nearer hospital was very busy.

Using a St John ambulance instead of an NHS ambulance is standard practice if that ambulance was on frontline NHS contract and to be honest there is virtually no difference between the two

Hope that helps
Thanks, thank explains a lot, but basically it seems I'm going to have to get St. John Ambulance to get back to me to find out if they do contract to the NHS in this area and what it is they actually do.

The issue with the local hospitals is that the local A&E doesn't do surgery or CT scans. (There is a CT scanner but only used for planned appointments). So for fractures that need surgery, stab wounds, head injuries etc. they have to go to the next hospital which is an hour (if you're lucky) by car, ambulances can do it a little better but not much due to lack of places you can overtake. So there is a need for those transfers, I've just never heard of St. John Ambulance being used.
 

BillAnd

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Apr 15, 2016
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#4
From my previous management experience within NHS and Private Sector.

If St Johns have the contract to provide a service, they must meet the standards as set out in the contract
so if they are providing a front line service, then the ambulance must meet the 999 front line standard; as must the training of its crew. If an NHS 999 ambulance crew member has a specific driver training requirement; then so must a contractor
 
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