Ambulance Action: improving emergency care and support

Ambulance-1024x683 Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Ambulance Action campaign has been created to ensure that individuals and families affected by muscle-wasting conditions receive the vital care and support  they need in emergency situations. A key part of achieving this is ensuring that people with muscle-wasting conditions at a high-risk of needing emergency care can have their details added to ambulance service  ‘flagging’ systems. This means that paramedics and first responders are alerted that the person they are treating has a neuromuscular condition.

Muscular Dystrophy UK initially collaborated with the London Ambulance Trust to develop the ‘Coordinate my Care’ technology to include families and individuals with a muscle-wasting condition.  We are now working with people with muscle-wasting conditions, health professionals and ambulance services  to ensure that no matter where someone lives in the UK, they have access to a  similar, specialist ‘flagging’ system.

Following our campaign, in 2018 two new areas of the UK, West Midlands and Northern Ireland, have started adding people to their flagging systems for the first time.

Our campaign centres around:

  • Working with people with muscle-wasting conditions, health professionals and ambulance services  to ensure that no matter where someone lives in the UK, they have access to a  similar, specialist ‘flagging’ system
  • Ensuring clinicians are aware of Ambulance flagging systems where they are available, to support paramedics’ knowledge of muscle-wasting conditions, allowing them to give appropriate treatment
  • Working in partnership with paramedics to better support the emergency care of people with muscle-wasting conditions
  • Creating and distributing condition-specific alert cards that advise health professionals on the key do’s and don’t’s when caring for someone
  • Working closely with ambulance services via our Services Development Committee, chaired by Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester

Ravi Mehta 28, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy said:

“I hope this new scheme in London will make a difference to people like me with muscle-wasting conditions. My respiratory problems can be frightening, and to know that a medical team will have full access to my medical records in an emergency is a huge relief. It’s important this scheme is available for all people with muscle-wasting conditions across the country”

Next steps

  • Our Services Development Committee will continue to discuss vital next steps in improving emergency care
  • Continuing to work with people with muscle-wasting conditions, health professionals and ambulance services  to ensure that no matter where someone lives in the UK, they have access to a  similar, specialist ‘flagging’ system


Bobby Ancil, Head of Outreach, Commissioning and Professional Development at Muscular Dystrophy UK said:

We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with ambulance services and paramedics to ensure individuals and families with muscle-wasting conditions know that they will receive high quality care in an emergency.

Get in touch with David Stephenson at d.stephenson@musculardystrophyuk.org or 020 7803 4826 to share your experience of emergency care and find out more about our Ambulance Action campaign.

 

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