We are fully committed to patient and public involvement. Our patient and communities engagement plan forms part of the overall communications and engagement strategy for the London Ambulance Service. It sets out a plan to ensure we meaningfully engage with patients.
We are able to attend community events and school visits and provide basic life-support training to members of the community. We have introduced the role of community involvement officer, to improve and develop our work within local communities.
We run large-scale campaigns to raise awareness on issues such as:
- the correct use of the ambulance service
- the impact of alcohol-related calls on our service
- the value of placing defibrillators in public places.
And we work on a smaller level with key groups who we feel will benefit most from our public education messages:
- children, specifially Junior Citizen age and ‘people who help us’ topic
- older people, stroke trauma and cardiac care messages
- young people, knife crime and road safety awareness
- people with specific conditions
- pregnant women, baby basic life support sessions
- people in disadvantaged groups
- people with mental health problems and dementia
- people with long term conditions
We have put together a section on our site aimed at schools. We have created an activity pack for kids containing a fun wordsearch, dot-to-dot, colouring in sheets and maze game. Our public education department can try and arrange for our staff to attend events, including Junior Citizen schemes, crime and safety awareness days, and school visits.
Some of our current projects with people from these groups include:
Knife crime awareness: We deliver our knife crime presentation to many different agencies across London including schools, colleges and youth offending teams. We also work in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service on some projects. We visit education centres across the capital in a bid to educate young people about the potential consequences of knife crime. We understand that young people have some difficult choices to make and we hope that the messages we deliver go some way to helping them make the right ones. Using the personal experiences of frontline ambulance staff, we aim to illustrate how just being around knives can be dangerous and often fatal.
Safe Drive Stay Alive Safe Drive Stay Alive (SDSA) is a partnership between the emergency services, Transport for London and London boroughs. It has been running for 13 years in London and is delivered in theatres to audiences of between 300 – 600 young people. The initiative targets 16 – 19 year olds and shows them the consequences of dangerous driving. The objective is that the audience learns the five main causes of a crash, together with avoidance strategies.
The success of the Safe Drive Stay Alive programme comes from tight quality control and the credibility of the presenters. It takes place against the backdrop of a film about a crash which involves young fatalities. At strategic moments throughout the course of the film, a paramedic, other members of the emergency services, together with members of the public who have been victims of road crashes, share their real life experiences. The impact on the audience is dramatic and the feedback from the thousands of young people, and teachers, who have witnessed the event has been positive.