Reports reaching Michael Fabricant say that as from today (8th August), Clinical Governance has in effect passed from the management of the Staffordshire Ambulance Service to that of the West Midlands. Worryingly, Staffordshire Ambulance crews are reported to have been told they may no longer use their ‘resQpod’ units which when giving Coronary-Pulmonary Resuscitation enhances the blood perfusion to the heart. It fits between the patient’s airway and the oxygen supply. It alters the pressure within the patients chest and helps maintain life after a serious heart attack. It is expected that use of the LUCAS units will also be banned. This unit, otherwise known as the "thumper", is a mechanical device which provides chest compressions during CPR. It effectively does the job of the paramedic having to compress the chest at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. Every ambulance and paramedic car in Staffordshire carries one.
West Midlands Ambulance Service do not use them. LUCAS has been found to increase the likelihood of survival after a heart attack. The West Midlands Ambulance Service do not use this device.
Michael Fabricant says "If these reports are true, it makes a mockery of the assurances and promises given to Staffordshire MPs by Tony Blair and Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, only a few months ago that a takeover of the Staffordshire Ambulance Service by the West Midlands had been kicked into the long grass. The take-over is happening now and our worst fears are being realised. According to the NHS, you are four and a half times more likely to survive a severe heart attack in Staffordshire than in the West Midlands because of the speed of the response by Staffordshire Ambulances and because of the training and equipment available to Staffordshire Ambulance paramedic crews. All this is now at risk."