• COVID-19


    We are following advice from PHE (Public Health England) and we continue to monitor current situations. We advise our course centres overseas to follow advice from their in-country equivalent or from the WHO guidance.

    We take our responsibilities to our staff and course attendees very seriously and will undertake a decision on a day-by-day basis to protect everyone’s health and prevent the spread of the virus.

    Contacting us

    Most of the ALSG team are on 'furlough' and are not working.  The senior team are maintaining the essential elements of our work during this time.  For urgent matters email them on enquiries@alsg.org.


    Courses up to the end of June, at ALSG, have been postponed and candidates and faculty will be contacted with new dates as and when we know we can get up and running again.  We are making decisions about July dates by the end of April.  Other course centres in the UK and overseas will liaise directly with their candidates and faculty about their position and approach.

    Following guidance from PHE we have postponed courses at ALSG (as above) and advise other centres based in England to consider doing the same, depending on local training needs and circumstances.  Centres in other countries are advised to take this action if prompted by their in-country or WHO guidance.  

    For courses at ALSG, candidates and faculty will be notified by text alert/email and they will be informed how they can transfer to a course at ALSG at a later date. 

    Courses - general advice

      1. Before the course:
      1.1 Candidates and faculty should be advised to postpone to a future course if they:
      • Have been in close contact with someone who has the COVID-19 infection
      • Have travelled from any countries/regions identified as being at higher risk. This may vary from country to country and local advice should be sought. For UK courses the list is available here
      1.2. Course centres should also ensure that they have robust contact details so that they can notify candidates and faculty at short notice if a course has to be cancelled.

      1.3. If course centres find that faculty numbers are reduced and require advice about the viability of a course, then contact ALSG via the normal contact routes.

      2. During the course:
      2.1 Remind candidates, faculty and co-ordinators to be meticulous and:
      • cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them or into a bent elbow, and
      • wash hands more often (for 20 seconds each time), using soap and water or hand sanitiser, especially:
        • after handling or working with manikins or other course equipment
        • after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing
        • before eating or handling food
      3. After the course:
      3.1 Remind candidates, faculty and co-ordinators to advise the course centre if they subsequently find they have symptoms. The course centre should then notify all other participants on the course and any relevant authorities.

    Courses - specific guidance on teaching with manikins and equipment

      1. Remind instructors to use manikins designed for basic life support practice when teaching rescue breaths and ventilations.
      2. Between use by each individual (candidates and instructors):

        a. Wipe manikins (chest, forehead and face) and any other equipment with alcohol wipes/viricidal and allow the surface to dry naturally for at least one minute.

      3. After each course:
        a. Replace and dispose of manikin lungs and airways.
        b. Clean manikin heads with an appropriate surfactant/disinfectant solution after completion of each training session.
      4. When teaching rescue breaths and ventilations:
        a. Wipe the face of the manikin with 70% alcohol wipes/viricidal after each individual and allow the surface to dry naturally for at least one minute before the next use.
        b. If requested, allow the use of:
          i. individual face shields – dispose of safely at the end of the session.
          ii. pocket masks (individual use) – fully clean or dispose of safely at the end of the session.
        c. Consider only requiring each participant to successfully demonstrate these skills once during the course.
        d. Reinforce the importance of rescue breaths and ventilations in the resuscitation of a child and highlight that the increase in the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus is small compared to the risk to the survival of the child if these are not provided.

    To download a pdf of this statement, click here

    Many patients currently being assessed will be correctly eliciting the discriminator ‘Special risk of infection’ - ‘Known exposure to a dangerous pathogen, or travel to an area with an identified, current serious infectious risk’, which gives a FTF Now/Orange priority and a Presentation Priority Matrix disposition of ED.

    Clinicians are asked to remember that, as with all MTS assessments, the MTS priority and the management of a patient are two different things. The MTS priority is fixed based upon the discriminator elicited from your assessment, however the management of the patient is based on a number of factors:

    • your clinical judgement
    • patient age, medical and social history
    • availability of local services
    • current clinical guidelines/management in place for a particular patient group or presentation.

    With regards the current pandemic, there are clinical guidelines in place for the management of this patient group, and unless there are any other clinical risk factors which mean an immediate ED response is required, the clinical guidance should be followed, meaning that ED will more than likely not be appropriate for this group of patients.

    The Presentation Priority Matrix (PPM) has always been ‘guidance’ for clinicians. Your clinical judgement in determining the most appropriate management remains the same for all patients and all MTS/PPM outcomes.

    For more advice or support please contact your MTS instructor or email manchestertriage@alsg.org

    To download a pdf of this statement, click here

    ALSG fully supports the national guidance issued by the Government in relation to the management of all patients requiring resuscitation.  No health worker should become infected with COVID-19 as a consequence of caring for a patient.  Although data suggests that it is unlikely coronavirus infection will be the cause of cardiac arrest in children, it is known that they can have the infection without significant symptoms so in every emergency situation the patient should be assumed to have COVID-19 and full PPE be used by all responders BEFORE starting resuscitation.

    Practise simulations are recommended within your own workplace to ensure your teams can perform at their best in these stressful situations.

    To download a pdf of this statement and to find additional resources, click here

    Most of the ALSG team are on ‘furlough’ and are not working.  The senior team are maintaining the essential elements of our work during this time.  For urgent matters email them on enquiries@alsg.org.  Courses up to the end of June, at ALSG, have been postponed and candidates and faculty will be contacted with new dates as and when we know we can get up and running again. We thank you for your support and ask that you bear with us at this time

    At ALSG we have been working behind the scenes looking at ways to support our colleagues and returning clinicians in the NHS and in health services around the world, during these unprecedented and extreme times.  We are pleased to be able to play our part by offering free e-books and training resources. 

    To learn more and to access the resources, click here

    ALSG recognises the difficulty of adhering to regulations associated with:
      • Recertification for both candidates and instructors
      • Course resits for candidates
    The deadlines for all have been extended for a period of 6 months.  This position will be reviewed and potentially extended as required.

    • Content

      Join us for our next webinar on 27th March Topic: Management of a severe acute respiratory infection due to COVID-19 This webinar covers the complimentary simulation scenario that addresses key interventions for the preparation, identification, treatment and triage of the patient with chronic disease and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) due to COVID-19 disease.

      During the webinar we will:

      • Review the Severe COVID-19 Infection (SARI) simulation scenario
      • Understand how to run and operate the scenario using LLEAP and SimPad
      • Provide helpful and practical advice for you to utilise the scenarios

      Select a time and sign up for 27th March:

      Part of our simulation training for COVID-19 readiness webinar series

      The COVID-19 crisis has affected all areas of the world, and frontline health workers are struggling to keep pace with the outbreak. To help you plan and prepare for the impact, register for a live or watch an on-demand recording of our simulation training for COVID-19 readiness webinar series. The series consists of three webinars, and aims to provide complimentary, simple, and reliable information on how to train using the free simulation scenarios we are providing. 

      Other webinars in this series:

      Working at homeMost of us regularly work from home for say, one day per week, so we can cope and are used to that. However, in these unprecedented times, for a lot of us working from home is now five days a week, this certainly puts the onus on each of us to stay motivated and focused. Here are some tips which may help give you a steer:-

      Get dressed and avoid the temptation to work in your PJs. You’ll feel more motivated to work and where possible, create a work space which’ll mean it doesn’t feel like the rest of your house.

      Set yourselves daily targets and this’ll also help you to prioritise better. Having a list also gives you the satisfaction of ticking off your achievements which is very gratifying.

      You will have enhanced autonomy, this is wonderful opportunity for each of us to demonstrate we can be self-starters, as well as looking strategically at your role and how processes can be improved or cost savings made, or maybe identifying areas which are not being developed.

      It’s important to keep connected with your colleagues. Set up regular virtual meetings and allow time for a bit of chit-chat which helps keep connections between each of us.

      On a final note, just think that whilst your heating bill may increase a bit, you’ll be saving on fuel, wear and tear on your vehicle, and no lost time in your daily commute. There are some real positives.

      National fitness dayKeeping your Sprits up

      For most of use social isolation is a new phenomenon and not being able to see friends and family whom we socialise with, may make the isolation feel enormous.

      Try to boost everyone's moral, here are a few tips to follow

      Online fitness workout

      Join an online activity like Joe Wicks, an online PE instructor, who if you just put his name into a search engine, you will see he does a 30min workout each morning at 9.00am. If that time doesn’t suit you can click into his session on YouTube at any time.

      And don’t worry if you’re unfit or not in the greatest of health, he also offers shorter and easier workouts, as well as ones specifically for children and elderly people. He likes to ‘kick-start’ the day and others are online, just get searching.

      Virtual choir

      You can also join an online choir and the well-known Gareth Malone has launched one this week which takes place every day at 5.30pm, to help finish off the working day on a positive note. Singing is known to lift spirits and the song and lyrics are provided within the daily email which is sent to you when you register. There are also other more local choirs across the country. Worth a punt.

      Socialise online

      Why not socialise online with a pint or a glass of wine on Friday with work colleagues for example. There are so many tools to use such as FaceTime, Messenger, Google and via the Alexa too. Or arrange with a friend or a member of your family a specific time and get together for a catch up.

      timeIn this frenetic world where we all live, there is little time so perhaps it’s interesting to look at the word ‘time’ and see how it’s used in so many different expressions to say something indirect but something we all understand.

      We are used to children’s stories starting with ‘once upon a time’ which is a pretty vague way of mentioning a moment in time but not being definitive. If we look at the expression ‘wouldn’t give you/ or them the time of day,’ this is negatively expressing someone won’t help in any way whatsoever, no matter what. 

      ‘Just in time’ and ‘just on time’ is interesting as if we say ‘I got to the theatre just in time’ but we’d say ‘the bus was on time’ but swap ‘in’ and ‘on’ into the other sentence, yes they both make sense but it’s not common terminology. 

      ‘Time after time’ can be a way of expressing irritation – ‘I told him time after time…’and is the equivalent of ‘over and over again’ but it can be softer in terms of relating to something which is constant or without fail, depending on the context. 

      If you’re ‘doing time’ clearly a person’s incarcerated as a prisoner and completing a sentence but by using ‘time and again’ this refers to do something habitually. 

      If we say ‘About time’, we’re sarcastically saying someone or something is long overdue. When we say ‘At all times’ this means you must always do or adhere to a command but the expression ‘from time to time’ means just now and then, whilst being ‘behind the times’ is to be old fashioned. 

      There are so many ‘time’ idioms embedded into our everyday colloquial language and of course it’s about the context. But because we are all driven by clocks and adhering to a set time such as getting to work on time, or collecting the kids, it’s no wonder it’s so ingrained into our lives.

      But try to ‘make time’ for the things you enjoy, especially as its International Stress Awareness Week. Endeavour ‘To pass the time of day’ and just meander along with no stresses or urgency.

      The World Health Organization has declared 2020 to be the year of the nurse and midwife in recognition of 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale. Arguably she pioneered today’s nursing profession.

      As a child she had always displayed a natural aptitude for mathematics which she readily applied to her nursing profession. She recognised the importance of patterns which highlighted areas for improvement, as well as establishing proven methods through the utilisation of data.

      It is said she was one of the first to adopt the use of pie charts which at that time, was a relatively new method of displaying data, having only been launched in 1801, so she was pragmatic and innovative in her approach to nursing.

      In 1860 Florence Nightingale set up the Nightingale Training School in St Thomas’ hospital and in 1865 the first tranche of fully trained Nightingale nurses were placed in the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary.

      Affectionately known as ‘the lady with the lamp’, today Florence Nightingale would be delighted and proud of the profession and the range of specialties across nursing, midwifery and many other clinicians.

    • News

      To see all COVID-19 statements, guidance and resources, click here

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      AGM Facts

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      Nursing and Triage Residential Tool minimising distress for residents and improving care An innovative Nursing and Triage Residential Tool (NaRT) which was initially run as a pilot in 2017 in two residential homes, has now been successfully rolled out to more than 263 homes across England and Northern Ireland.

       The tool was devised and predicated on the Manchester Triage System which this year celebrates more than 25 years and has been streamlined so non-clinical staff are able to follow a clear process which guides care workers as to the correct action to take.

      This has led to a significant reduction in 999 calls, as well as ambulances attending nursing homes, minimising the distress to the resident of having an unnecessary admission to hospital. 

      Such is the success of NaRT, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), which undertook the pilot in tandem with ALSG, revealed that NWAS receives just over 1million calls per year, of which c.10% of the calls are from care homes and of those, approximately 30% are discharged at the scene. This equates to around 30,000 patients per year, where ambulance resources attended residential homes unnecessarily.

      One-fifth of Accident & Emergency patients are from the over 65 years and over, and care home residents in this age category, were seven times the admissions rate compared to England as a whole and of these, 40% of admissions from care homes were for conditions which potentially could be managed outside of a hospital setting or avoided completely. 

      Commenting on the NaRT system, Stephanie Allmark, Northwest Ambulance Services said: “Minor injuries and illnesses can be effectively managed, assessing and referring residents to a more appropriate pathway of care without the intervention of 999.

      “Without the use of the NaRT tool, 999 remains the first port of call for care homes however, staff know their own residents extremely well and NaRT gives them the confidence to follow an easy to use structured process, with clear steps as to whether an ambulance will be required. No diagnoses is needed, just a simple checklist has to be completed.

      “Of course we recognise that in order for NaRT to be introduced into a care home, it needs collaboration from all agencies, from the ambulance service, to urgent and primary care services, as well as the nursing and residential homes but the statistics are proving this is an effective tool.”

      Full training of NaRT is given and is now operational in 263 nursing and residential homes across England and Northern Ireland. https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk/ (Capacity Tracker) Handy Infographic – press control and the mouse simultaneously Applying NaRT ENDS For further information contact: Lise Bulloch ibulloch@alsg.com ibulloch@alsg.com 0161 794 1999 

      [1] North West Ambulance Services - https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/

      [1] Accident and Emergency Statistics: Demand, Performance and Pressure. BRIEFING PAPER Number 6964, 21 February 2017. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06964/SN06964.pdf

      ALSG participating in the Nightingale Challenge throughout 2020 By supporting the WHO’s Year of the Nurse & Midwife

      A world-wide leading training provider based in Salford, Greater Manchester, has today launched its own initiative to help promote the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse & Midwife.

      Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) is offering five free training places at its training centre in Manchester.

      The new decade of 2020 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale (12/5/1820) and as such, the WHO is promoting the leadership and development training of nurses and midwives.

      ALSG is offering participants the chance of either attending one of their Advanced Paediatrics Life Support (APLS) courses or the Pre-hospital Obstetric Emergency Training (POET) by simply completing a short form which can be found here

      Sue Wieteska, ALSG’s CEO said: “For a long time now, nursing and midwifery roles were traditionally undertaken by women and it’s not until more recent times we have seen men entering the profession, as such nurses haven’t benefited from career advancement in the same way doctors have.

      “It’s heartening the WHO has named 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife as the whole nursing and midwifery profession will have the spotlight shone on their great work and the significant contribution they make day-in and day-out.

      “At ALSG we have been operating for more than 25 years and our courses are well established and with our APLS course, last year it was officially endorsed by the RCPCH. As a charity training organisation, we are committed to saving lives, as well as recognising the importance of each clinician’s role and therefore, we are pleased to offer five free places and support this wonderful initiative by the World Health Organization.”


      • Thought Leadership

        Sue Wieteska, CEO of Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) comments on the recent announcement by the government to change pensions to be more flexible. 

        “With a lot of consultants leaving or reducing their hours due to the Tapered Annual Allowance which can affect their pension contributions and sees some facing increased tax bills, it is excellent news that the government has listened to the British Medical Association (BMA) www.bma.org.uk/ who have been at the forefront of highlighting the issues.

        “The government is putting out a consultation paper which I welcome with open arms however, shouldn’t the whole health sector be reviewed and be included in this new flexible approach which is expected to be implemented? What about dentists? What about nurses and other medical professionals?

        “Easing rules is an excellent idea to keep people in the profession for as long as possible but surely it shouldn’t just be aimed at high earners only, and shouldn’t the government take a consistent approach?"

        Read the article here

        In Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced last year at her party conference that student nurses would have a bursary of £8,100pa rising to £10,000 in 2020. Click here for the full article

        Sue Wieteska, CEO of Advanced Life Support Group, said:  

        “Scotland is taking an important step with this decision, as it is clear there’s a direct correlation between being supported with funding which is the case in Scotland for student nurses, and the rise in recruitment.   

        “Other Governments could learn this easy lesson if it recognises the need to increase nurses entering the profession, as well as the retention of staff, it must ensure a portion of funding is ring-fenced for training. 

        “At ALSG, an organisation which has been at the forefront of training doctors, nurses and other clinicians for now more than 25 years, I have anecdotal evidence that the profession simply doesn’t feel financially supported.   

        “This is by no means empirical evidence but it does gives a real insight into the monetary struggle nurses in particular find to revalidate.  Isn’t it time to literally ‘put your money where your mouth is’?”

        Sue Wieteska, CEO of Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) commented on the news report from ITV News in research undertaken by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The findings has cited admissions to emergency hospitals are from residents in care homes. 

        Sue said: “The statistic of 41% suggests these admissions could be significantly reduced as some conditions don’t necessarily require hospital admission and care homes need support to achieve this.

        “Interestingly, ALSG and the Manchester Triage Group working with NWAS (North West Ambulance Services) has adapted its world recognised Manchester Triage Tool, to purposely fit and match requirements specific to care homes which is called Nursing and Triage Tool (NaRT).

        “Since NaRT’s implementation in more than 200 homes in the North West of England, we have seen significant reductions of transfers to EDs from care homes which is not only good news for hospitals relieving pressure on resources but great news for residents who prefer to remain in their own environment and familiar surroundings.” 

        Read the news report here

        Sue Wieteska, CEO for Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) comments on the benefits of undertaking a research bursary.

        “Bursaries are imperative to the progression of a specific field and this is particularly vital to healthcare. Undertaking research delivers evidence and new strategies to clinical approaches whilst advancing specialty areas.

        Involving health care staff is also necessary in any research as this improves standards as well as engaging clinicians who have day-to-day experience and knowledge within the health sector and it would be imprudent to overlook their contribution.

        Launched in 2017, the ‘Mike Davis Bursary Fund’, marked the retirement of Mike as ALSG’s lead educator after a hugely successful 21 years in post.  In honour of Mike’s contribution to ALSG, we offer this special fund annually to give future ALSG instructors the opportunity to complete a GIC where they may not have the financial support to do so. For more information and to apply, click here."