We continue to follow advice from PHE (Public Health England) and monitor the current situation carefully. 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 very seriously and will continue to do so, but with the majority of the population now fully vaccinated, ALSG has taken the decision for members of staff to partially work from home and partially in the office, attending the office once a week.
The Senior Leadership Team and the Trustees have agreed for small teams of staff to return to the office on one specified day a week, which means that throughout the working week, there will be personnel at the ALSG offices in Swinton.
This hybrid method of working protects everyone’s health and prevents the spread of the virus. Furthermore, on their allocated day, each individual is responsible for the cleaning of their desk, removing all papers, stationery or computer equipment, ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness is maintained for the person using the same desk the following day.
ALSG has been running courses at their Swinton
offices throughout the pandemic by providing a COVID safe environment and
operating socially distanced groups that do not mix during a course. With the
Virus in abatement, ALSG is fully operational in its course delivery once again
but will continue to keep faculty and candidates safe by maintaining many of
the safety aspects adopted throughout the pandemic.
The stations, the mannequins and simulation
equipment are regularly cleaned, and every candidate must maintain a clear
space between each other, as well as members of faculty ensuring they are
socially distanced in their delivery of the course. The new larger rooms allow
for this, as well as providing good ventilation.
Candidates and office staff are in separated
areas of the building, with only the course co-ordinators who are responsible
for driving the day’s course, are in contact with those on the course or
delivering it. All other office staff
remain in an area where candidates are not permitted, thereby keeping everyone
segregated and safe.
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:
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 email@example.comTo 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.
This advice also covers those working in the community setting. We acknowledge that in children, rescue breaths and breathing support are essential and compression-only CPR may not be effective, however, it is crucial that health workers do not put themselves at increased risk when resuscitating a child. The health worker may consider giving instructions to a parent/carer, who can deliver the rescue breaths, but they should do this taking into account their own safety by either wearing full PPE or by maintaining the recommended safe distance.
Practice simulations are recommended within your own workplace to ensure your teams can perform at their best in these stressful situations.
An adapted version of the Structured Approach to Paediatric Emergencies algorithm is available here.
To download a pdf of this statement and to find additional resources, click here
ALSG realised a number of years ago that we cannot safely assess our candidates on the level of their clinical care, ability to work with colleagues, communication skills, professionalism in a single moment, in one high-stakes test. Through studying assessment literature, we learned that putting all of our faith in one summative assessment was based on a number of flawed assumptions.
We took the decision to move to a form of ongoing or multiple assessment, realising that repeated sampling and triangulation by different assessors were both essential. We recognised that the students needed to be far more involved in the process and have agency and be heard, therefore they needed more meaningful and ongoing feedback. This meant putting much more emphasis on assessment for learning, guiding and coaching.
We've made adaptations over the last few years, learning from our successes and our challenges. We will keep on doing this and striving to improve the experience for our candidates. We are on an exciting journey.
Our employers will take care of the physical safety aspects such as only going in one way and exiting another, social distancing of desks, along with rigorous cleaning but how mentally prepared are we?
Being mentally prepared for returning to work or the office after so long is a vital part of everyone’s role. As feelings of stress come from anxiety, we have some practical tips to help you be more prepared for the transition back to work or the office.
At the end of the day, it takes time to get back into the new pattern of being office based, but these tips will help you on a daily basis.
It’s also a day to become aware of others around you. Take time to think differently about that person who you pass who would normally say hello or smile in acknowledgement but doesn’t on this occasion. Is s/he occupied with something else, or perhaps just running late and is focused on that?
Life’s incredibly busy for everyone and affects people differently. A person may just be too mentally occupied to acknowledge you as you pass so try to see things from the other person’s perspective.
There are lots of useful tools to help individuals cope with just the everyday stresses, some of which are easily accessible such as just going out for a walk however brief, it helps you mentally.
Creating a daily task list is another coping mechanism and helps garner all the outstanding issues into one place. By capturing it in a list, it makes a person feel better and in control or perhaps create an electronic list on your phone, as and when you remember something.
World Mental Health Day is about being supportive and understanding to others, as well as being a bit introspective and reflecting on the things that may be adding to your stress levels and then make a plan for dealing productively with it.
In a recent survey by LBC, the radio station, which through the Freedom of Information Act has discovered there is a greater shortfall of children receiving help for mental health issues to those that are fortunate to be able to receive some vital support. https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/lbc-investigation-childrens-mental-health-support-plummets-during-pandemic/
It is widely accepted that during this year long pandemic which on the 29th January 2020, saw the first death from COVID-19, that it has impacted all our lives in terms of travel restrictions, job losses, meeting up with friends and family or working from home which in turn has affected many people’s mental health.
Mental health issues manifest in differing ways such as people feeling isolated and lonely or it may be that a person’s got a shorter temper which can be signs to look out for in your family and friends.
Today is Time to Talk Day and so perhaps you’re feeling fine but have a think about those close to you and reach out to them. It could be as simple as a short text asking about how they’re feeling. You never know, maybe someone will send you a message or ring, as they may be thinking about you.
It’s good to know someone’s there.
During this lockdown, it’s easy to become inactive and sit longer than you would ever normally do, some may even think there’s no point in getting dressed but inertia is no good for mind, the soul nor the body.
But what to do? Well this is a real opportunity to tackle those things that when you’re working you simply don’t have the time nor in all likelihood, the energy to get stuck into, for example having a good clear out of all your filing and paper work.
Who doesn’t have a dumping drawer or a space under the sink with lots of useless items that have never seen the light of day in years or has ever been used? Get your bin bags and load it all up.
Getting up and getting ready to face the day is extremely important and getting fresh air too. A walk round the block or if you have a garden, tackle it. A lot of garden centres are doing online deliveries so have a look on the internet and if you don’t have a garden, then think about window boxes.
Moving is so important for your body to help the blood circulate, to get your muscles moving and there’s a lot a person can do just at home. Start doing stretches on the floor and loosening up, if you feel fit enough, run up and down the stairs. If you live in a block of flats, use the stairs and not the elevator or jog on the spot in your living room to music.
You could even create a daily workout but just get moving.
Most 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.
The Neonatal Care Course (NCC) is expanding in Uganda after 12 candidates undertook @_ALSG_ Generic Instructor Course. They taught NCC for two days with supervision from @NICHE delivering the course. They are now able to deliver NCC as fully qualified instructors. #SavingLives
Listen to Kate Denning, ALSG’s Director of Education talk about the benefits of continuous assessment where she outlines that exams have a place but are also just a moment in time, whilst outlining the advantages of continuous assessment over a two day training programme.
September may seem quite a way off but in reality, it’s only three months. For the first time, ALSG is holding a virtual conference which given many of us are trying to catch up post pandemic (fingers crossed) as well as working, to then attend a conference this year seemed a lot to be asking.
ALSG is excited, as not only is it the first conference we’ve hosted online but the programme is shaping up extremely well. The conference theme is ‘How to be an even better ALSG instructor’ and we’ve got some fantastic speakers delivering some really great content specifically designed to support our instructors and centres.
Whilst there are a few sessions yet to be finalised, the programme so far will examine issues such as looking after yourself and your team, the effects of sleep deprivation on performance, as well as clinical matters such as changes in the UK to the major incident triage process and insights into pain and sedation management in children.
There are many, many more sessions planned so don’t miss out. Plus, group bookings receive a discount. To book, click here to jump across to our conference page.
The conference promises to be interactive and ‘hands-on’ with virtual breakout rooms and online chat facilities so you can be sure to get the maximum from the conference and become an even better ALSG instructor.
In-depth trauma training videos made available for Ukrainian hospitals
Ukrainian hospitals are being given free exclusive access to online training specifically aimed at children with trauma or life-threatening injuries in order to help save lives.
Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) based in Salford has been offering emergency training for over 30 years.
Elements of its world-renowned paediatric course, Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) which is endorsed by the Royal College of Paediatric & Child Health (RCPCH), are being made available to Ukrainian emergency staff after being contacted by Swiss Medi Kids, based in Zurich.
Swiss Medi Kids who were running APLS, specifically filmed a Trauma situation which sits alongside the other videos which have been made available.
The online facility will provide knowledge and skills necessary for recognition and effective treatment and stabilisation of children with life threatening emergencies, using a structured, sequential approach.
There are more than 12 videos giving in-depth examples of techniques and procedures, and a simple password specific to Ukrainian hospitals has been made available to give full access to the resources.
Stephanie Smith, Chair of APLS commented on the training being made available:
"As part of our mission to save lives by providing training, ALSG is providing paediatric life support educational resources for healthcare providers faced with treating the youngest victims of the continuing war in Ukraine."
ALSG’s CEO, Sinead Kay said: “We have the resources which we felt was important to share with Ukrainian clinicians who are facing daily emergencies and in stressful situations. We hope the training videos will assist them as much as possible.”
For further information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG), a charity based in Salford with training centres in 44 countries, is pleased to welcome Sarah Dickie, RN, BSc (Hons) Nursing, PG Health Research, PG TLHE, MBA, and Dr Martin Edwards, PhD, FRCPCH, to the board.
Sarah brings more than 34 years of experience working in the NHS (both in NHS England and NHS Scotland). A Registrant with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and MBA graduate from Strathclyde University, as well as NHS Board and Integrated Joint Board experience. Sarah moved from her Yorkshire home to Scotland in February 2001 and her current position is Nurse Director.
A past Instructor for Trauma Nursing (UK) on the Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC), Sarah previously served as a committee member, Chair and Board of Directors. Before moving into strategic Nursing leadership roles, Sarah worked clinically as a Nurse Consultant in Emergency and Unscheduled Care and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Martin is a Consultant General Paediatrician working at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff. Martin is also working as the Deputy Director for Secondary Care in the Medicine team at Health Education and Improvement Wales. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, awarded for his involvement with Medical Student teaching and the academic representative for Wales for the RCPCH.
Martin has extensive experience in Medical Education including instructing and directing on resuscitation courses such as APLS & NLS for over 10 years. He is actively developing and managing the Generic Curriculum course for trainee doctors in Wales.
Kevin Mackway-Jones, Chair of Trustees, ALSG, said: “Sarah and Martin bring with them years of clinical and educational experience and I’m delighted to welcome them both to the Board.
ALSG is continuously evolving its educational training packages and last year saw the launch of remote online training for some of our courses, making it easier and more accessible for our candidates and faculty members. I am confident Sarah and Martin will offer ALSG strategic guidance, as well as excellent counsel for the organisation’s future direction.”
Please click here to read the press release for the new Mental Health Triage Tool which has now been launched and embedded into the Manchester Triage System.
An expert Delphi study was performed which identified 52 discriminator statements using the world renowned MTS reductive method. It is intended for usage in emergency departments, ambulance services, out of hours and emergency care centres for patients displaying mental health crises.
The new mental health discriminators in the established triage tools are fully researched, providing an evidence-based approach in a flow chart process to help identify and pinpoint the needs of individual patients.
The updated triage tools will be available in November, ensuring that a robust triage process for mental health presentations is in place and provides a consistent and structured approach.
Sue Wieteska, CEO of ALSG said: “The extensive research and undertaking of a Delphi study ensures a robust and rigorous Triage tool for mental health will be in place by next month. We are busy updating all the Manchester Triage system tools and training materials to ensure a consistent approach across the whole pathway of care. We have every confidence that enhancing the mental health discriminators in the Manchester Triage System will support the safe prioritisation of patients presenting with a mental health crisis.”
For further information contact: email@example.com
An expert Delphi study was performed which identified 52 consensus statements about the emergency department triage of patients in mental health crisis (Mackway-Jones AJ, Mackway-Jones KC; An Expert Delphi study to derive a tool for Mental Health triage in Emergency Departments. Emergency Medicine Journal 2020; 37:738-743).
The newly adapted remotely enhanced APLS course now includes an online training day which delivers remote lectures, skills demos and real life case-based discussions which are then presented and evaluated in online break-out rooms.
The APLS course is three days. Day one consists of a series of online modules, which have always been part of the programme as they prepare a candidate ahead of their training. In addition to this, candidates are asked to watch a series of videos which are demonstrated in real time along with commentary, the skills they will practise on the face-to-face course.
After which there is a full day online with lectures, polls and break-out sessions, followed by a third and final day which is face-to-face, but in small groups to allow for social distancing and gives candidates more practice time in a safe environment.
Previously, APLS had two days face-to-face but by moving a day online, it has greatly reduced the need for physical contact, as well as making the course more accessible to candidates as it removes the need to attend one day in person whilst keeping education at the heart of the course.
Sue Wieteska, CEO of ALSG said: “This has been something we’ve been devising for some time and which has proven to be prudent and the feedback from the faculty and candidates has been extremely positive. The development has involved many clinicians of whom there are too many to thank individually but their contribution has been enormous.
With the course, it’s easier to get together online and host it in a virtual environment as well as of course, much safer in the current climate. We have many training centres both in the UK and across the rest of the globe and the new remotely enhanced APLS course will be simpler and safer to deliver.
The RCPCH had already endorsed the traditional APLS course and it’s heartening that the College has endorsed this new format which assures candidates that high quality training is being delivered.”
Stephanie Smith, Emergency Paediatric Consultant and Chair of the APLS working group who has led the development of the course said: “Education lies at the heart of this course, as clinicians must continue to progress their learning as well as their skills and the launch of APLS in this new format is an excellent step forward and one which will continue past the current pandemic.”
For further information, please contact Lise Bulloch on firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 07795 593444
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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 794 1999
 North West Ambulance Services - https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/
 Accident and Emergency Statistics: Demand, Performance and Pressure. BRIEFING PAPER Number 6964, 21 February 2017. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06964/SN06964.pdf
Our new Trustee will bring senior level experience and first time Trustees will be considered and supported if appointed. We are interested in hearing from potential Trustees with experience in medical education.
If you would like to join us on our journey, please click here to go to our online form where you can find out more about ALSG and also the role of a Trustee before deciding if you would like to go ahead and apply.
For an informal, confidential discussion about the role, please contact Sinead Kay, CEO by email email@example.com.
Closing date for applications is the 29th July 2022
We are seeking volunteers to join the MedicALS Working Group to help support the ongoing development of the course and its accompanying materials. If you would like to apply to join the group, please click here to apply.
For further information and role specification, please click here
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.
|Royal College of Surgeons (RCS)|