North East Ambulance Service

Protective equipment stolen from ambulance

BBC Radio Tees

Person protective equipment (PPE) was stolen from an ambulance on a call out in Middlesbrough on Monday, police have said.

The theft occurred as the ambulance crew attended emergency calls in Middlesbrough’s Newport area.

The items reported stolen were provided to the ambulance crew to keep them safe as they provide life-saving treatment to patients, a Cleveland Police spokeswoman said.

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Ch Supt Thom McLoughlin said: “The theft of equipment from frontline ambulance staff is despicable. Our emergency service colleagues continue to assist those in most need and it is disgraceful they were targeted in this way."

The North East Ambulance Service said it was one of four thefts of such equipment across the region in the past week.

Paramedics' protective equipment stolen

Protective equipment for paramedics has been stolen from ambulances four times in the past week, the North East Ambulance Service has said.

A spokeswoman said the items were stolen while crews were treating patients in Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

The equipment is used by healthcare workers to protect themselves from infection from coronavirus and it also keeps them from infecting other vulnerable patients.

Head of risk at North East Ambulance Service, Alan Gallagher, said: “To hear about such selfish acts of theft is incredibly disappointing and we will not tolerate it. The impacts of such acts could severely impede our combined efforts to keep people safe. Those responsible should consider the wider impact that their actions could have on the community and their own emergency care, should they ever need it.

“As a result, all vehicles will now carry minimal stocks.

“All of our vehicles are fitted with CCTV and anyone attempting to board one whilst the crew are treating patients is likely to be caught on camera and the footage provided as evidence to the police.”

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Ambulance service gives thanks for support

The North East Ambulance Service has given thanks to those supporting it during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Routine patient transport service suspended during virus crisis

Routine ambulance transport has been cancelled to help ease demand during the coronavirus crisis.

The North East Ambulance Service said the decision would allow it to support hospitals to discharge more patients well enough to return home and free-up the maximum possible inpatient and critical care capacity in the region.

A limited transport service will continue for patients needing dialysis; chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other cancer treatment; and when required for non-urgent assessment as directed by a clinician.

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Barry Dews, Strategic Head of Operations at NEAS, said: “This is not a decision taken lightly and we know some patients will be worried about whether they should still attend their hospital appointment.

“We regularly carry out around 2,800 patient journeys a day and we have already seen this drop to 1,500 patient journeys a day as hospitals start cancelling appointments and some patients are either self-isolating or following government advice to socially distance themselves.

“We are working very closely with hospitals and our NHS commissioners to ensure that all patients are notified of this change and given advice on what they should do next.”

Patients who have any concerns their transport should ring NEAS patient transport on 0300 111 0247.

For those patients showing symptoms of COVID-19, vehicles will only transport one patient at a time.

Crews in direct contact will also be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), although the designated driver will not be required to wear PPE whilst driving.

Emergency services issue parking plea

Northumberland Fire and Rescue service has asked people to be considerate when it comes to parking.

It says that with more people working from home there are more cars parked up in streets and housing estates.

Residents are urged to ensure they have left enough room for emergency services vehicles to get through.

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Ambulance service sees huge increase in demand

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

The North East Ambulance Service says it is coming under severe pressure because of a huge increase in those concerned about coronavirus.

Yesterday 3,500 calls were recorded to the non emergency NHS 111 service - 63% more than they'd planned for.

It says call volumes are up by a third on what it would normally expect and it has doubled the staffing in the control room to meet demand.

You can find more information about coronavirus here:

You can watch the full story on Look North on BBC One at 13:30 and 18:30.

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Ambulance crews sent to South Bank incident

The North East Ambulance Service said it had sent six resources including a specialist hazard team to the former SSI plant in South Bank.

Fire crews are also on the scene.

An ambulance spokeswoman said there were no details about any casualties.

We will bring you more details when we have them.

Seven taken to hospital after collision between bus and car

Seven people were taken to hospital after a collision between a bus and car in Newcastle.

It happened shortly after 15:00 on Ponteland Road.

North East Ambulance Service said three people were taken to hospital by emergency ambulance. None of them appear to be in a critical condition.

Four people were also taken to hospital and are described as being "walking wounded."

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