Record TT for ambulance callouts

By Gemma Nettle   |   Reporter   |
Monday 20th June 2022 5:09 pm
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Will Bellamy, Head of Ambulance Service. Photograph by Callum Staley (CJS Photography)

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The ambulance service responded to 710 incidents in its busiest TT on record.

Across the fortnight, the Isle of Man Ambulance Service dealt with 761 calls to the 999 service, which was 169 more calls than during TT 2019.

Its busiest ever day was on June 7, attending 60 individual incidents across the 24 hour period.

Will Bellamy, head of Isle of Man Ambulance Service, said: ‘I am exceptionally proud of the way that my team responded to the significant demand that they faced across the TT fortnight, in what was a record year for the requirement for our services.

‘This really was a team effort, not just from our frontline paramedics, but from the ambulance support teams who made sure our vehicles were serviced and back out on the road quickly, to our local ambulance partners, the air ambulance teams who worked to transfer those patients who were in need of specialist treatment at a UK hospital there quickly from Noble’s Hospital, and our colleagues in the other 999 services including the call handlers working in the Emergency Service Joint Control Room.

‘Some of the demand can be accounted for by the increase in visitors to the island to watch the TT races, but there was also a significant demand for ambulance support from local residents too, many of whom were taken ill with a number of complex or life-threatening complaints which required urgent care.

‘I hope they felt reassured that we were there for them when they needed us most, and that our comprehensive planning really paid off.’

Mr Bellamy previously said that TT was previously the ambulance service’s busiest period, however the daily average following Covid now matches that.

The team dealt with 106 individuals who had suffered injuries caused by a fall, 33 road traffic accidents, and used A99, the helicopter air ambulance based on-island for the TT fortnight, 30 times in eight days.

The A99 is provided by the Department for Enterprise as part of its TT arrangements, and is used to convey patients to Noble’s Hospital quickly, particularly during road closure periods.

It also transferred 36 patients to tertiary care centres in the UK for further, specialist treatment using the fixed-wing air ambulance service operated by Manx Care.

In addition to this, Isle of Man Ambulance Service was quicker to respond to patients than ever before during a TT period.

The team’s performance across four call categories is summarised as follows:

– Category 4 performance: 40 minutes, 12 seconds (target – 180 minutes)

– Category 3 performance: 22 minutes, 22 seconds (target – 120 minutes)

– Category 2 performance: eight minutes, 12 seconds (target – 18 minutes)

– Category 1 performance: eight minutes, six seconds (target – seven minutes)

The island-based team members were joined for the fortnight by seven additional colleagues, six from Wales and one from Guernsey, increasing paramedic numbers to support the increase in demand for their services during the TT period.

Though there have been staff shortages, Mr Bellamy explained there has ‘always been uplifts of staff across healthcare’ during TT.

Support was also provided locally from St John Ambulance and the Hogg Motor Sport Association.

Teresa Cope, chief executive of Manx Care, added: ‘On behalf of the board of Manx Care, I would like to express my public thanks not only to our colleagues in Isle of Man Ambulance Service and our partners working across the island’s other emergency services, but to every colleague within Manx Care who delivered exceptional levels of care and demonstrated absolute dedication to their profession during what was an incredibly busy period for us.

‘Many of our colleagues had to deal with some very difficult and challenging situations which they managed with the utmost compassion and professionalism.’

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