Recognition of Life Extinct by Ambulance Clinicians

The request was successful.

Dear North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

Please provide the answer to this freedom of information request:

1) Are paramedics that are employed by, and working for, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) instructed to follow the guidance set out by the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee, UK Ambulance Service Clinical Practice Guidelines (2016) with regards to ‘Recognition of Life Extinct by Ambulance Clinicians’ namely, the ability for frontline paramedics to autonomously make the decision to not attempt resuscitation on a patient who is in the final stages of a terminal illness?

2) In regards to question 1, if the answer is no, please provide a copy of the relevant NWAS procedures and protocols which staff are instructed to use while operational, to support their practice with regards to the resuscitation of patients who are at the end of a terminal illness.

3) In regards to question 2, please provide the author(s) who wrote the policy or procedure in question. In-line with The Data Protection Act 1998 I understand that individuals may not wish to be named as authors of any policies or procedures, as such please could you provide the job title(s) or relevant position(s) held in relation to NWAS, for example ‘Head of Education’ or ‘Consultant Paramedic’ etc.

4) In regards to questions 2 and 3, please provide the evidence base and rationale behind the policies and procedures named above. If the answer to question 1 was ‘no’, and NWAS paramedics do not follow the named guidelines, please provide a reason for choosing to not follow the nationally endorsed guidelines, again, with particular regard to whether or not NWAS paramedics are encouraged by the trust to autonomously make the decision on whether or not to resuscitate a patient who is at the final stages of a terminal illness.

In summary, this Freedom of Information request is concerned with NWAS policies and procedures surrounding Recognition of Life Extinct, and the resuscitation of patients at the final stage of a terminal illness. The primary objective of this request is to determine if NWAS follow the policies set out in the named guidance, and if not, why not, and who made this decision to ignore the guidance?

Please note that by ‘a patient who is in the final stages of a terminal illness’ I am referring specifically to an individual for whom an ambulance is summoned, is in cardiac arrest, does not have a valid Do Not Attempt Resuscitation order, or Advanced Directive in place, and is in the late/final stages of a terminal illness.

Please do not hesitate to respond to this request if any points require clarification or further explanation.

Thank you for taking the time to answer this question.

Yours faithfully,

Matty Lee

FOI Enquiries, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

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FOI Enquiries, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

North West Ambulance Service

Email: mailto:[email address]

FOI 596

Dear Mr Lee

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request has been received and is currently being reviewed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will contact you again with a response to your request within the 20 working days commitment outlined in the Freedom of Information Act. However if there are any queries with your request which I need to clarify with you, I will contact you at the earliest opportunity.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be required to pay before we will proceed to deal with your request.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely
Christina

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FOI Enquiries, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

North West Ambulance Service
 
 
 
 
 
Email:   [1][email address]
 
FOI 596
 
Dear Mr Lee,
 
In response to your Freedom of Information request please find the answers
below to your questions:
 
1)      Are paramedics that are employed by, and working for, North West
Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) instructed to follow the guidance set
out by the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee, UK Ambulance
Service Clinical Practice Guidelines (2016) with regards to ‘Recognition
of Life Extinct by Ambulance Clinicians’ namely, the ability for frontline
paramedics to autonomously make the decision to not attempt resuscitation
on a patient who is in the final stages of a terminal illness?
 
The Trust follows the guidance from the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance
Liaison Committee.
 
2)      In regards to question 1, if the answer is no, please provide a
copy of the relevant NWAS procedures and protocols which staff are
instructed to use while operational, to support their practice with
regards to the resuscitation of patients who are at the end of a terminal
illness.
 
The Trust’s policy regarding this is currently being drafted and reviewed,
but as mentioned above the Trust does follow the Joint Royal Colleges
Ambulance Liaison Committee guidance.
 
3)      In regards to question 2, please provide the author(s) who wrote
the policy or procedure in question. In-line with The Data Protection Act
1998 I understand that individuals may not wish to be named as authors of
any policies or procedures, as such please could you provide the job
title(s) or relevant position(s) held in relation to NWAS, for example
‘Head of Education’ or ‘Consultant Paramedic’ etc.
 
Consultant Paramedic.
 
4)      In regards to questions 2 and 3, please provide the evidence base
and rationale behind the policies and procedures named above. If the
answer to question 1 was ‘no’, and NWAS paramedics do not follow the named
guidelines, please provide a reason for choosing to not follow the
nationally endorsed guidelines, again, with particular regard to whether
or not NWAS paramedics are encouraged by the trust to autonomously make
the decision on whether or not to resuscitate a patient who is at the
final stages of a terminal illness.
 
The Trust follows the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee
guidance.
 
I hope this information is of assistance.
 
Kind regards
Caroline Turner
 

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