Key achievements

We’ve got a lot to be proud of here at NWAS and it’s been another busy year packed with impressive achievements for the organisation and our people.

Following consultation with our people, our patients, and our communities, we launched a refresh of our organisational strategy in May 2023 which sets out where we want to be and how we will get there together. It outlines our shared purpose, vision, aims and objectives, identifying an emphasis in 23/24 on urgent and emergency care recovery, Freedom to Speak Up and creating a safe working environment free from discrimination.

Our people are at the heart of what we do and we aim to be a brilliant place to work for all.

Leaders in our Patient Transport Service have been making positive changes to improve staff health and wellbeing too. They have undertaken training to become mental health first aiders, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to support team members experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

We are also really proud to have achieved The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion’s Gold Award for Talent, Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation in recognition of our steps and actions to support an inclusive culture. The judges recognised us, out of 155 global entries and just 13 gold award winners, for our efforts to address under-representation in senior leadership teams, create a network of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) champions across the trust, offer EDI awareness training and use targeted recruitment methods to achieve a more representative workforce.

We’ve grown our workforce this year, investing in additional permanent frontline colleagues. In the last financial year, we recruited 221 paramedics, including a cohort of 15 Australian newly qualified paramedics, as well as an additional 114 emergency medical technicians. We also saw the first cohort of our internal apprentice paramedics graduating and becoming HCPC registered paramedics. With additional recruitment in 2024 across the organisation, particularly for call handler positions, we have launched a trust-wide recruitment campaign ‘Careers with Heart’ with adverts broadcast across various platforms, including digital, radio and out of home.

We’ve been working together to shape a better future by investing in our estate, including opening our brand-new Blackpool ambulance hub which offers benefits for staff and provides improved efficiencies on how they respond to patients in the community. We also recently announced that our former Merseyside area office is set to be rebuilt to base our Cheshire and Merseyside Hazardous Area Response Team in a state-of-the-art facility. We’ve also enhanced our fleet with additional electric vehicles and we’ll be replacing a further 52 rapid response vehicles with electric alternatives as part of our commitment to becoming a more sustainable organisation.

Another huge achievement for us has been the migration into a single primary triage system. This means that both our 111 and 999 systems provide consistent patient outcomes regardless of which number they use to contact us on.

To help up provide high-quality inclusive care, we welcomed a new emergency video relay service for sign language users making accessing the 999 service easier for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’ve also been working together with NHS partners across the region to improve hospital handover delays. This has seen really positive improvements and helped us introduce a new hospital handovers e-learning module for staff to improve the safe handover of patients at hospital. NHS trusts nationwide will use it to reduce turnaround times and improve patient experiences.