About NWAS

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) has a workforce of over 6000 staff, operating its emergency services from ambulance stations distributed across Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, three Emergency Operations Centres, one support centre, and two Hazardous Area Rescue Team centres.  In addition, the Trust provides the NHS 111 Service for the North West region and the Patient Transport Services for most of the area.

Our operational area covers a population of approximately 7.5 million people over five counties. We respond to patients across a geographical footprint of approximately 5,400 square miles. NWAS is the largest ambulance service in the UK receiving over 1.4 million emergency calls per year, with telephone based clinicians and emergency crews attending to more than 1.2 million incidents each year (2017/18).

Our NHS 111 service is the largest in the UK taking over 1.5 million calls each year. Patient Transport undertakes over 1.2 million non-emergency patient transport journeys each year. NWAS also forms part of the NHS response to Major Incidents, ensuring that plans are in place to provide a comprehensive response to major incidents, risks, or hazards.

These services are enabled by teams covering workforce, finance, digital, estates, fleet, project management, patient safety, patient experience, legal and many more ensuring that we provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place; every time.

Research & Development at NWAS

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust is proud to be a research-active organisation. We develop and host research studies with a focus on pre-hospital healthcare, injuries and emergencies as well as supporting projects in other clinical specialities. We also explore non-clinical research opportunities involving the organisation and our workforce.

Our Research Strategy priorities are:

  1. Ensure that research is visible and supported throughout the whole organisation
  2. Expand our research networks and facilitate research collaborations
  3. Increase our research capacity and capability

We work in collaboration with a range of partners including the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the National Ambulance Research Steering Group (NARSG), NHS organisations and academic institutions to engage in research that will improve health outcomes for the population.

NWAS has a core Research & Development (R&D) Team that is led by Consultant Paramedic, Steve Bell, and consists of Research Manager, Sandra Igbodo, Research Support Officer, Claire Carty, and NIHR Research Paramedics, Betty Pennington and Benjamin Ashton.

For more information, please visit NWAS website.

A selection of NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies that NWAS has been involved in include:

• AHP perceptions of NHS research capability and culture: A national research capacity in context survey

• ASPIRE-COVID-19 CENTRE: Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care in response to epidemics – Case studies of eight NHS Trusts in England

• CARA Study: A cross-sectional survey evaluating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of ambulance personnel in the United Kingdom

• CESSATION: A mixed-methods study of female ambulance staff experiences of the menopause transition

• COLLABORATE Project: Developing patient-centred, feasible alternative care for emergency department users with epilepsy. A model for service design

• Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA) Programme: Evaluation of a community alcohol champions programme in Greater Manchester

• Community First Responders’ role in the current and future rural health and care workforce

• The COMPARE Study: The impact of COVID-19 on paramedic led out of hospital cardiac arrest resuscitation: A Qualitative study

• Exploring the Impact of Alcohol Licensing in England and Scotland (ExILEnS)

• Head Injury Transportation Straight to Neurosurgery (HITS-NS) trial – a feasibility study

• Impact of Restart A Heart Day 2019 in the UK

• OPTIMIST: Optimising Implementation of Ischaemic Stroke Thrombectomy: Exploring NHS professional views about the emergency stroke pathway

• Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes Project

• PARAMEDIC-3: Pre-hospitAl RAndomised trial of MEDICation route in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

• Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA) Trial

• Psychological impact of COVID- 19 pandemic and experience: An international survey

• PRE-FEED REAL: Pre-hospital feedback in the United Kingdom: A realist evaluation of current practice using a multiple-case study design

• The Pre-hospital Evaluation of Sensitive Troponin (PRESTO) Study

• PRINCIPLE Trial: Platform Randomised trial of INterventions against COVID-19 In older people

• Should I stay or should I go: NHS staff retention in a post Covid-19 world, challenges and prospects

• SWAP: Staff Wellbeing in Ambulance Personnel

• A survey of ambulance paramedics’ attitudes and experiences of identifying patients with end of life care needs and their awareness of the Gold Standards Framework Proactive Identification Guidance

Latest / significant publications

The R&D team also supports student research and service evaluation projects that take place at the Trust.

NWAS research contact details

If you’re interested in working with NWAS, please email us at research.development@nwas.nhs.uk

Social media

Follow us on Twitter @NWAmb_Research for news and updates.