To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration was given by the West Midlands Ambulance Service to upgrading the role of Community First Responders in other parts of its area to bring the roles into line with the role in Staffordshire before the decision was taken to downgrade the role of Community First Responders in Staffordshire and bringing that role into line with other parts of the West Midlands Ambulance Service area.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the current enhanced role of Community First Responders in Staffordshire has proved more effective in terms of (1) quality, and (2) safety, when compared to the work of Community First Responders in other parts of the West Midlands Ambulance Service area.
Ambulance services have operated with Community First Responders (CFRs) for many years in mainly rural areas and they play a vital role in responding to the highest priority 999 calls whilst paramedics are en-route.
West Midland Ambulance Service (WMAS) recognise that Community First Responders (CFRs) play a key role in protecting local communities and they want to enhance that by increasing the number of CFRs, using a consistent model of response, so that even more lives can be saved.
Since the introduction of the Ambulance Response Programme, ambulance services have a clearer indication of the severity of each 999 call and so can assign the most appropriate response to that call, which may include the dispatch of a CFR, to ensure that each patient receives the right response for their clinical need.
WMAS plan to use their CFRs to target the most seriously ill patients, in the way that CFR schemes were originally set up.
The Government are content with the approach WMAS are taking regarding CFRs and have no concerns regarding their future plans.
In 2015, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives published a document on the use of CFRs. The document seeks to reduce national variation in the governance of CFR schemes and aims to addresses the deployment of CFRs across all categories of calls. A copy of Volunteer Responders Governance Framework is attached.