Archive | Emergency Care

Scottish Women’s Institutes supports the Sandpiper Trust

Many rural GPs across Scotland have in their possession a Sandpiper Bag which represents a unique collaboration between BASICS Scotland – which delivers training in prehospital emergency care to rural clinicians – and the Sandpiper Trust.  The Trust has been in operation for over fifteen years, and has provided over a thousand emergency kit bags to be distributed across rural Scotland and beyond, providing essential equipment to be available to rural responders in providing quality emergency care.  Each bag costs at least £1500, with some responders including those on islands and those who are ‘tracked’ by the ambulance service, receiving more than £4000 worth of quality kit.

To mark the centenary of the SWI, they have chosen the Sandpiper Trust to be their charity of the year.  This generous moves will help raise the funds required to keep the Sandpiper Trust able to support rural clinicians in this way.

At the RGPAS conference in November 2016, Aly Dickson, co-founder of the Trust, provided the following video message as he couldn’t attend in person due to being on holiday.  He explains more about the background to the Trust, and their dedication to supporting rural clinicians in Scotland…

David Hogg was invited to attend the SWI conference in November, but was unable to take time away from clinical duties.  However, he did prepare this short video message to the group to acknowledge this generous fundraising, and to give a perspective from a current clinician and active Sandpiper BASICS responder…

As ever, the Sandpiper Trust is extremely keen to receive feedback from responders about their involvement in supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service in responding to rural emergencies.  You can contact the Sandpiper Trust team at: info@sandpipertrust.org.

New tins and buckets are now available from the Sandpiper Trust to keep in your surgery to encourage local fundraising. For more information, see this page on their website.

 

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BASICS Scotland reports on over 15,000 hours of tele-education

BASICS Responders provide prehospital care across Scotland, especially in rural and remote areas.

BASICS Scotland – the charity that promotes the provision of high quality pre-hospital emergency care by health professionals across Scotland – recently produced a report that brings together experience of providing over fifteen thousand hours of online educational material.  And the conclusion: it’s cost effective, it increases access (particularly to remote and rural practitioners) to high quality education, and it works.

Tele-education has been available from BASICS Scotland since 2011, and since then the team have built on their experience to improve the learner’s experience, and reflect on what makes this form of learning most accessible.

Some participants manage to join these sessions in real-time, but the sessions are also recorded so they can be viewed at a later date via the BASICS Scotland website.  The sessions are usually packaged to run over ten weeks, covering adult and paediatric emergency prehospital care respectively.  A dedicated IT Facilitator assists participants with any initial difficulties in using the Adobe Connect software – which has proven to be an effective platform on which to deliver the content.  Participants who are watching in real-time are able to ask questions or type comments, and all of this is recorded for later viewing too.

As well as tele-education, BASICS Scotland also uses this technology for its Clinical Governance meetings (open to all member responders) and for Board meetings.  Scottish rural broadband speeds continue to pose some problems, but having knowledgeable IT assistance allows some of the technicalities to be tweaked, to maximise the use of available bandwidth.

The report (PDF) can be downloaded from the button below.  Further details on the tele-education programme can be found here, along with all the other training opportunities that BASICS Scotland provides.  A BASICS Scotland tour of the Adobe Connect platform can be found here.

Download the report here (PDF 733KB)
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15th December: Next BASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

basics_logo_new_large_csBASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

15th December 2016, 7.00pm – 8.30pm

 

The BASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meetings are held quarterly and are provided over internet based video conferencing allowing you to have a face to face meeting with your peers from the comfort of your own home or work place to share and discuss clinical cases that you may have been involved in or are interested in.

Each meeting consists of a selection of cases which are presented by the person involved and is then opened up for discussion giving you the opportunity to learn from others.

Our meeting on 15th December will feature the following cases:

  • Fall from a horse: Iain Craighead (Highland)
  • My drive to Newcastle: Paul Gowens
  • An Entrapment: Brian Fitzsimmons (Highland)
  • Multiple Casualties: Mark Worrall (Ayrshire)

The meeting will also cover ‘Rudeness and clinical performance‘ with Richard Price.

Join us at the next meeting

This is a free benefit to all BASICS Scotland members and counts towards your CPD!

If you haven’t been to one of our meetings before and would like to attend this or future meetings please email or call Craig Stewart at the BASICS Scotland office – cstewart@basics-scotland.org.uk or tel: 01764 663671.

Invites will automatically be sent out to everyone who has previously attended one of our Clinical Governance Meetings.

The programme for this meeting will be distributed in due course and invites will be sent out on the Tuesday before the meeting.

Not sure how it works?

Never attended one of our internet based video conference sessions using Adobe Connect and unsure of how it all works? Contact Craig at the BASICS Scotland office (cstewart@basics-scotland.org.uk or call 01764 663 671 ) and he will be more than happy to help you get set up.

You can also catch up on previous meetings which will give you a good idea of what is involved by logging into the members area of the BASICS Scotland website ( http://basics-scotland.org.uk/members/clinical-governance/recordings/ ).

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BASICS Scotland Adult Tele-Education Course

BASICS Scotland Tele-Education presents…

Adult Pre-hospital Emergency Care

basics_logo_new_large_csStarts Monday 16th January 2017

(closing date for registration is Friday 23rd December 2016)

Course cost: £150 for non-members / £135 (BASICS Scotland members)

This Course is primarily for doctors, nurses & paramedics delivering care in the pre-hospital environment. 

BASICS Scotland provide two types of Tele-education courses which are Paediatric and Adult Emergency Medical Care

New evidence based topics are delivered by weekly 1 hour sessions over 9 weeks for the paediatric course and 10 weeks for the adult course. These are presented live through our internet based video conference system using Adobe Connect which can be accessed anywhere in the world that you have a computer with an internet connection and up-to-date web browser with the latest Flash Player plugin installed.

Can’t make the live sessions? Don’t worry. Each live session is recorded and made available on our E-learning website along with supporting materials so you can view them in your own time.

adult-tele-ed-pic-slider

 

The adult course covers topics such as:

Allergy & Anaphylaxis; Asthma; LVF – Adult Pneumonia; Stroke & TIA; Chest Pain & Thrombolysis; Head Injury; ENT Emergencies; Wounds, Burns & Tetanus; Pain Relief; Seizures

Feedback from previous courses:

I picked up lots of useful tips, particularly regarding the range of drugs that I should consider using in a remote pre-hospital environment and the management of wounds and minor injuries.

Excellent course, loved been able to do it online, like structure of a topic each, 2 week break worked well. I enjoyed that the sessions were interactive, learned lots of useful information, thank you.

A very useful course that has increased my confidence in emergency situations.

Introduction on Adobe Connect and how it works

A short video is available from the BASICS Scotland page (link below) introducing what Adobe Connect is and how to use it for BASICS Scotland courses and meetings. Watching this recording is a good test to ensure you are able to watch the recordings made during this course.

Full details, including the application form, are available from this page at the BASICS Scotland website.
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#RGPAS16 a major success

Last week, over eighty students, trainees, new and more experienced GPs from across Scotland and beyond, met at the annual conference of RGPAS.  An action-packed programme provided a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical topics, and there were plenty of opportunities to meet and discuss rural practice.  Rural GP-ing in Scotland is a simulating place to be!

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Scroll to the bottom of the page for more conference photos…

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But we had some GPs from further afield too!

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Rural GPs from across Scotland came for the conference…

Kicking off the programme, we heard from Dr Helen Brandstorp of the National Centre for Rural Medicine in Tromso, Norway.  Helen provided a good backdrop to the fact that “we’re all in this together” – the challenges and delights of rural practice are prevalent in Norway in similar levels to Scotland.  The ground is fertile for further collaboration with international confreres and we hope to see ongoing links with our Norwegian counterparts in rural medicine.

The rest of the conference featured a rich variety of clinical and non-clinical topics of relevance to rural practice.  We were lucky to have an excellent range of engaging and entertaining speakers.  From updates in emergency medicine, to humanitarian and MSF work, to developing rural LGBT-friendly health services, to IT Reprovisioning, to research tips, to rural surgery, to featured student presentations… there was plenty going on, and the conference dinner provided plenty of opportunity to make further connections and allow the conversations to flow, along with a bit of traditional music too.

We were delighted to host a good number of students, trainees and new doctors… in particular there were nineteen heavily-subsidised student places – and they didn’t disappoint in their contributions of innovative ideas throughout the conference.

Instead of listing all the speakers here, the programme remains available – and we were delighted that over 200 #rgpas16 tweets were exchanged in the course of the conference.  We’ve collated these with Storify, and you can view the Storify timeline here.

Here’s a few of the twitter highlights:

The conference rounded off on the Saturday with a visit to the Bristow Coastguard helicopter base at Inverness Airport, where Winchman Paramedic Duncan Tripp and his colleagues treated student and experienced GPs to a tour round the facilities, including one of their £26 million Sikorsky search and rescue helicopters.

Thanks to all those who presented, and to all others who contributed to the conference planning.  The event proved to be fun, engaging and relevant to rural practice.  We hope to do the same next year – provisionally booked at the Craigmonie Hotel again on 2nd-4th November 2017.  Meantime, at RGPAS we are keen to stimulate and encourage further work in Scottish rural practice.  A new committee was formed, and I am delighted to take the helm of an able and enthusiastic team.  It’s going to be an exciting year!

Here’s some photos of the event…

 

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Is there a Sandpiper Responder near you?

Spot the Sandpiper responder? They work with all other emergency personnel, including ambulance, fire, police, lifeboat and mountain rescue teams. (Staged simulation - pic by Chris Hogge).

Spot the Sandpiper responder? They work with all other emergency personnel, including ambulance, fire, police, lifeboat and mountain rescue teams. There are actually two in this photo.  (Staged simulation – pic by Chris Hogge).

Have you heard of the Sandpiper Trust?  If you are a rural GP or nurse in Scotland, you are very likely sitting there thinking ‘yeah, of course’!  You probably don’t have to look far in your home/car/work to find a familiar blue Sandpiper Bag – over £2000 worth of emergency life-saving kit brought together into a neat, organised package, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Sandpiper Bag - in this case there's a BASICS Scotland teaching exercise being carried out in the background.

Sandpiper Bag – in this photo there’s a BASICS Scotland teaching exercise being delivered in the background.

There are over 1000 such bags in Scotland, mainly in rural and remote areas.  They enable rural clinicians to support the Scottish Ambulance Service in providing emergency care when there isn’t an ambulance easily available, or sometimes as there is more than one casualty, or the skills of a doctor are required to augment those of an ambulance paramedic.

One thousand bags.  That’s over £2,000,000 (2 million) worth of kit – funded purely from public donations over the last fifteen years.  And that’s before considering that responders who are on islands or make themselves trackable by the ambulance service, are provided with even more resource, from EZIO needles and pelvic slings, to defibrillators and technology to plug themselves into the national responder system.

Bags are provided to rural clinicians who have successfully completed the excellent BASICS Scotland courses in emergency care.  From advanced paediatric life support, to trauma care, to ongoing teleconference sessions to share best practice… the system works because of this integrated approach between BASICS Scotland – who provide the training and support – and the Sandpiper Trust – who provide the kit and training resources.

What started the Sandpiper Trust?

The Sandpiper Trust Logo - inspired by 'a light hearted, cheeky bird who plays by streams and on the seashore' - just like Sandy Dickson, whose tragic death inspired the charity to be founded.

The Sandpiper Trust Logo – inspired by ‘a light hearted, cheeky bird who plays by streams and on the seashore’ – just like Sandy Dickson, whose tragic death inspired the charity to be founded.

The Trust was formed shortly after the tragic death of Sandy Dickson in 2000 – at the age of 14 years as a result of a swimming accident in rural Canada.  His parents, Penny and Aly asked the question ‘What would have happened if this had occurred in Scotland?’.  Penny’s sister Claire and brother-in-law Robin Maitland supported them on a journey that would soon provide rural Scotland with an integrated system of emergency care and resource that has become the envy of many other countries.

Their work has inspired others to provide advice and expertise – such as when Chris Tiso of the outdoor sports company Tisos came across the Mark 1 Sandpiper Bag by chance, and provided his support to enable the Mark 2 Bag to incorporate much improved fabrics, layout and carrying harness.

More background to the Trust can be found here.

Who funds the Sandpiper Trust?

Sandpiper Bags are designed to keep equipment laid out in a logical and helpful way (Pic from simulation training at recent BASICS Scotland course).

Sandpiper Bags are designed to keep equipment laid out in a logical and helpful way (Pic from simulation training at recent BASICS Scotland course).

The Sandpiper Trust exists entirely on personal donations.  If you visit the Sandpiper Trust facebook page, you’ll see a range of budding cyclists, iron men, stall holders, bakers, auctioneers and other inspired volunteers who give their time to fund the Trust’s activities.

Unfortunately the nature of the work that the Sandpiper Trust supports, means that there are often sensitivities in reporting this at the time.  Patient confidentiality remains a paramount aspect of healthcare, and so responders have to be careful when highlighting the work that they have carried out at the time.  Inevitably, responding to emergencies can result in contact with adversity, tragedy, and changed or lost lives.  However, where possible, work is publicised to give Sandpiper supporters an idea of how donations are used.

The Sandpiper Trust is keen to hear from Sandpiper Responders about where their kit has helped.  It helps to keep the energy going behind the colossal fundraising efforts behind the scenes.

How does the system work?

Bags and jackets like this are provided to responders across rural Scotland - here's mine (Pic: Chris Hogge).

Bags and jackets like this are provided to responders across rural Scotland – here’s mine (Pic: Chris Hogge).

I am one of many Sandpiper Responders across Scotland.  I offer my situation as a typical example of why the Sandpiper Trust works so well to support us rural GPs in Scotland.  On Arran we have one ambulance available at any one time, and it is used for emergency and non-emergency patient transport.  It takes two hours to drive round Arran, and our population rises from 5,000 to 25,000 over seasonal periods such as Easter, Summer and Christmas.  We see lots of outdoor activity enthusiasts on Arran – cyclists, hillwalkers, paragliders – and like many parts of Scotland, we are seeing our population become more elderly and medically complex.

Our full team of GPs – along with one of our Practice Nurses with expertise in emergency care – are equipped with Sandpiper Kit.  Being island responders, we are given extra resources which means typical kit will cost more than £3000 per responder.  Three of us are mapped onto the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) system.  I carry an airwave radio and a smartphone that allows me to be tracked wherever my car goes – and to book on and off depending on other commitments.

If SAS require support – if Arran’s only ambulance is busy with another call, if there are multiple casualties, or if the crew have requested medical support – they will contact us by phone or radio, often using the map to see if anyone is closest and available.  Failing that, SAS will tend to call our community hospital to see if a response can be co-ordinated from there.  BASICS Scotland training includes not only advanced emergency medical care, but considerations about driving safely, providing a ‘sitrep’ back to ambulance control and keeping the initial scene as safe as possible.  Our personal protective equipment includes very high quality hi-vis jackets, which are extremely useful for road accidents and incidents in the open.

Sandpiper Responders can provide vital information back to ambulance control to help identify patients who need urgent evacuation for specialist medical care.

Sandpiper Responders can provide vital information back to ambulance control to help identify patients who need urgent evacuation for specialist medical care.

The job of a SAS call handler is very difficult, and sometimes it’s tricky to decide how urgently someone needs medical attention.  There are occasions when we are asked to assist with someone suspected of being very ill or injured, but being the first ‘eyes on scene’ we can further triage the call.  Being volunteers – and that emergency calls can take us away from a busy surgery, family life or time off – SAS tend to be careful and respectful on when we are asked to attend emergencies.  However, there’s no doubt that there are occasions when our early attendance can help to stand down limited resources – or indeed scale up a response for patients requiring emergency evacuation by helicopter.

Each year, across Scotland, Sandpiper responders attend thousands of calls.  These all depend on voluntary time, along with replacement of items which are used or which expire.  We continue to receive fantastic support from the Sandpiper Trust, who remain committed to providing us with great quality and often cutting-edge equipment.  Sometimes our ambulance colleagues are envious about the quality of the kit we are provided with!

What sort of calls do you attend?

Technology, funded by the Sandpiper Trust, enables some responders to link directly into the Ambulance Service responder system.

Technology, funded by the Sandpiper Trust, enables some responders to link directly into the Ambulance Service responder system.

I recently attended my 117th call in the last six years on Arran.  Without providing dates or specifics, here’s a look back at my last ten calls:

  • sudden heart failure, helicopter evacuation after stabilisation – SAS crew request for assistance
  • motorbike crash, thankfully only minor injuries – SAS crew busy with another call
  • fall off a ladder, serious injuries, helicopter evacuation from scene – SAS crew request for assistance
  • cardiac arrest, unfortunately fatal – ‘dual response’ requested
  • cardiac arrest, unfortunately fatal – ‘dual response’ requested
  • haematemesis (vomiting blood) – SAS crew busy with another call
  • mountain bike crash, teenager with chest and head injuries – SAS crew busy with another call
  • unresponsive 2 week old baby – ‘dual response’ requested
  • chest pain, suspected heart attack – SAS crew busy with another call
  • 35 week old baby with breathing problems – SAS crew delayed response due to location

What about WildCat?

wildcatWildCat is an impressive programme to trial a co -ordinated system of response to cardiac arrests in rural Aberdeenshire.  Building on the lessons of TOPCAT – a project in Edinburgh which has revolutionised how medics respond to cardiac arrests – WildCat aims to translate those lessons into a useful system for rural areas.  It builds on the response already provided by Sandpiper responders, and aims to train folk from much wider backgrounds to get early defibrillation and quality CPR to patients in cardiac arrest.  You can read more about WildCat here.

Sounds amazing.  Can I help?

Donations are particularly necessary to enable the Sandpiper Trust’s work to continue.  You can find out more about how to donate here.  If you live in a rural area of Scotland, ask your GP or practice nurse if they have a Sandpiper Bag next time you’re in.  If you feel able and inspired to help with local fundraising, your local responders and the Sandpiper Trust will be keen to support you with that.

Over the next few months, we hope to raise awareness about the amount of Sandpiper Kit in rural Scotland.  You can post messages to the Sandpiper Trust Facebook Page – and also there will be some twitter activity including the hashtag #spkit.

You can also use the comments section below to chip in your experience of using or benefitting from Sandpiper-funded equipment.

Her Majesty The Queen recently presented the 1000th Sandpiper Bag to a responder.

Her Majesty The Queen recently presented the 1000th Sandpiper Bag on behalf of the Sandpiper Trust to another responder in Scotland.

 

 

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14th September: Next BASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

basics_logo_new_large_csBASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

14th September 2016, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Do you have a case that you would like to discuss at the next or future Clinical Governance Meetings?

Currently the cases we discuss are gathered from PRF’s that have been submitted to BASICS Scotland. We are keen for these Clinical Governance Meetings to be an open forum so if you have any case that you think would be of interest or you would like to discuss with your peers, contact us now at clinicalgovernance@basics-scotland.org.uk.

The BASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meetings are held quarterly and are provided over internet based video conferencing allowing you to have a face to face meeting with your peers from the comfort of your own home or work place to share and discuss clinical cases that you may have been involved in or are interested in.

Each meeting consists of a selection of cases which are presented by the person involved and is then opened up for discussion giving you the opportunity to learn from others.

Join us at the next meeting

This is a free benefit to all BASICS Scotland members

If you haven’t been to one of our meetings before and would like to attend this or future meetings please email or call Craig Stewart at the BASICS Scotland office – cstewart@basics-scotland.org.uk or tel: 01764 663671.

Invites will automatically be sent out to everyone who has previously attended one of our Clinical Governance Meetings.

The programme for this meeting will be distributed in due course and invites will be sent out on the Tuesday before the meeting.

Not sure how it works?

Never attended one of our internet based video conference sessions using Adobe Connect and unsure of how it all works? Contact Craig at the BASICS Scotland office (cstewart@basics-scotland.org.uk or call 01764 663 671 ) and he will be more than happy to help you get set up.

You can also catch up on previous meetings which will give you a good idea of what is involved by logging into the members area of the BASICS Scotland website ( http://basics-scotland.org.uk/members/clinical-governance/recordings/ ).

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BASICS Scotland Paediatric Tele-Education Course

basics_logo_new_large_csNews just in from BASICS Scotland about their latest educational offerings…

We are pleased to announce the latest start date for our popular Paediatric Tele-Education Course

Book now for 5th September Start!

This course is specifically designed to refresh your knowledge of Paediatric Emergency Medicine

The 9 week 1 hour course will offer you the chance to refresh &/or advance your knowledge on a variety of topics. Run over 9 weeks with a 2 week break, the course starts on the 5th September 2016 and covers a different topic each week over 1 hour live web based tele-conferencing sessions using our Adobe Connect system.

Topics covered include:

  • Child with fever and Meningitis
  • Head Injury
  • Seizures
  • Allergy Anaphylaxis
  • Asthma
  • LRTI
  • Epiglottitis & Croup
  • Gastroenteritis & Dehydration
  • Pain Relief

Can’t make the live sessions?

Don’t worry, each live session is recorded and made available on our E-learning website for you to view in your own time – access to course materials ends 6 weeks after last live session.

Book Now as closing date for registration is Friday 19th August 2016!

What does it cost?

The cost for this course is:

  • £135 for BASICS Scotland members
  • £150 for non-members

To download the information flyers and application form, visit the BASICS Scotland Tele-education page.

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New number for Scotland’s Retrieval Services

News just out which will be relevant to all Scottish rural GPs and healthcare practitioners…

scotstar

Download a poster for your unit (2.2MB)

From 11 July 2016 the telephone number to access a transport team for advice or retrieval will be 0333 990 222.

This number will connect you to the new Specialist Service Desk in the Glasgow Ambulance Control Centre.

The Scottish Ambulance Service are making this change to deliver the following improvements to service users;

  • Provide a single point of contact for advice or retrieval for all age groups
  • Provide real time updates on transport availability at the time of call
  • Utilise multi-party voice conferencing when required/requested for pre-transfer advice or planning
  • Call recording for audit and governance
  • Provide a single point of contact for mission progress updates

To report any issues with this new activation process, please contact the Specialist Service Desk Supervisor on scotamb.ssdsupervisor@nhs.net

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New Lifeline courses for volunteer responders

basicsIt is acknowledged that stress and psychological distress is a common reaction to the sorts of incidents that emergency responders encounter in the course of their duties.  This includes volunteer responder teams who have another ‘day job’ but who provide vital emergency services to their communities.

The effect of stress – and the importance of personal resilience – is recognised as an important consideration of overseeing an emergency care system.  So we’re pleased to hear about a new organisation – funded by Scottish and UK Governments from the proceeds of LIBOR fines – that aims to improve awareness of the stresses involved with, and offer a mechanism of support for emergency responders.

Across Scotland there are thousands of people who give emergency assistance to their fellow citizens. They provide a vital service to our communities, but their jobs can be emotionally and physically demanding. The Lifelines Scotland project supports the health and wellbeing of all emergency responders, and provides information for family and friends.

Lifelines Scotland is running a number of courses across Scotland to help teams and leaders support team-members and responders more effectively in dealing with traumatic and difficult events.  BASICS Scotland is one of several organisations who are promoting this initiative, and they are keen to increase awareness of it amongst the responders who they support.

For more information, see the flyer below, or visit the website at www.lifelinesscotland.org.

lifeline

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