South East Coast Ambulance Service

About SECAmb

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is part of the National Health Service (NHS) and responds to 999 calls from the public, urgent calls from healthcare professionals and provide NHS 111 services across the region. Covering an area of 3,600 square miles (Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, and North East Hampshire) this diverse geographical region includes densely populated urban areas, sparsely populated rural areas and some of the busiest stretches of motorway in the country.

With over 4,000 staff working across 110 sites almost 90 per cent of our workforce are operational staff – those caring for patients either face to face, or over the phone at our emergency dispatch centre where we receive 999 calls. Our patients range from the critically ill and injured who need specialist treatment, to those with urgent healthcare needs who can be treated at home or in the community.

As part of the NHS we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It ensures that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high quality care and encourages care services to improve.

Your Service Your Call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=t1JRkzhhWFY

Research strategy

This Research and Development Strategy is fundamental to the Research and Development Department working collaboratively within SECAmb to support the Trust’s overall ‘Strategic Goals’ outlined as part of the 2020 strategy process. These goals demonstrate how the Trust will ensure the provision of safe, quality care to its communities and the various stakeholders, including staff. Following feedback in the last few years from staff, the CQC and the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic we have recognised as a Trust that there is significant work needed to improve quality for patients, deliver improved performance against targets, meet financial targets and in doing this support and develop our staff. As a Trust, we are determined to continue to learn from feedback from our staff, our volunteers and our patients and embed trust-wide change because of this learning.

SECAmb has established a discrete, visible Research and Development Department with a range of staff working towards the common goal. With a core team of substantive members, organisational staff are also recruited to support specific studies on an annual basis through alternative routes such as secondments or fixed term appointments. In order to meet our strategic objectives and to fulfil our purpose ‘SECAmb will provide high quality, safe services that are right for patients, improve population health and provide excellent long-term value for money by working with Integrated Care Systems and Partnerships and Primary Care Networks to deliver extended urgent and emergency care pathways,’ research must become core business within SECAmb with additional investment in resources and strong research leadership to meet the demands associated with the current growth of research activity within ambulance services.

As healthcare provision continues to develop worldwide in response to changing practice and need, so does the focus of research and the associated processes that allow its facilitation across the healthcare spectrum. The following strategic aims developed in response to the Trust’s goals drive the departments strategic objectives, ensuring that our staff, volunteers, patients and public understand not only the role of research and development within the Trust, but also how that research is being used to guide change.

SECAmb will be recognised locally, nationally and internationally for:

  • The relevance and quality of its research.
  • Collaboratively engaging with health and social care partners, academic institutions and industry.
  • Its ability to translate the outcomes of its research into measurable benefits for patient care, health and wellbeing.
  • Providing an evidence base to underpin local and national developments in paramedic practice.

Current research projects

  • Reducing time to appropriate emergency response in trauma incidents using smartphone video streaming from 999 callers: A feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial (SEE-IT)
  • Black, Ethnic and Asian populations’ Service Use Relating to Emergency services for accidents and injuries (BE SURE): A mixed-methods study of presentation, care delivered, outcomes and stakeholder perspectives
  • PreHOspital Triage for potential stroke patients: lessONs from systems Implemented in response to COVID19 (PHOTONIC)
  • Fighting fatigue in the NHS ambulance workforce: development, acceptability and feasibility testing of a comprehensive fatigue risk management system to improve staff and patient safety (CATNAPS)

Previously conducted research projects

  • Community First Responders’ role in the current and future rural health and care workforce.
  • Clinical Randomisation of Antifibrinolytic in Symptomatic mild Head injury in older adults (CRASH-4).
  • The COVID-19 Ambulance Response Assessment Study (CARA).
  • Derivation and narrow validation of a clinical decision rule for paramedics to triage an older adult with a traumatic brain injury.
  • A longitudinal mixed-methods study of MINDfulness And Response In Staff Engagers (NHS) -MINDARISE.
  • paRamEdic decision making during out of hospital cardiAC arresT 2.  A mixed-methods study.

Latest / significant publications

  • Barrett, J.W., Williams, J., et al (2023) Head injury in older adults presenting to the ambulance service: who do we convey to the emergency department, and what clinical variables are associated with an intracranial bleed? A retrospective case–control study. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 31, 65.
  • McManamny, T., Ortega, M., Munro, S., Jennings, P., & Whitley, G. A. (2023). A pre-hospital mixed methods systematic review protocol. British Paramedic Journal, 8(2), 38-43.
  • Munro, S., Cooke, D., Holah, J., & Quinn, T. (2023). The views, opinions and decision-making of UK-based paramedics on the use of pre-hospital 12-lead electrocardiograms in acute stroke patients: a qualitative interview study. British Paramedic Journal, 8(3), 1-10.
  • Ollis, L., Skene, S. S., Williams, J., Lyon, R., & Taylor, C.. (2023) The SEE-IT Trial: emergency medical services Streaming Enabled Evaluation In Trauma: study protocol for an interventional feasibility randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2023;13:e072877. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072877
  • Vadeyar, S., Buckle, A., Hooper, A., Booth, S., Deakin, C. D., Fothergill, R., Ji, C., Nolan, J.P., Brown, M., Cowley, A., Harris, E., Ince, M., Marriott, R., Pike, J., Spaight, R., Perkins, G.D. & Couper, K. (2023). Trends in use of intraosseous and intravenous access in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest across English Ambulance Services: A registry-based, cohort study. Resuscitation, 109951.
  • Patel G, Botan V, Phung V, et al. (2023) PP44 Consensus on innovations and future change agenda in community first responder schemes in England: a national Nominal Group Technique study. Emergency Medicine Journal 2023;40:A18
  • Mortimer, C., Nikoletou, D., Ooms, A. and Williams, J. (2023). Effects of nebulised beta-2 agonists on clinical observations in asthma exacerbations. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 15(2): 1-11.
  • Aldred, D., Durham, M., Prokop, N., Balderston, G., Crabb, R., Crouch, P., Pike, L., Children, J., McBride, A., Heywood, A., Williams, J. & Cowley, A. (2022). Critical care paramedics’ experiences of performing an emergency scalpel cricothyroidotomy: a qualitative study. British Paramedic Journal, 7(1), 3-8.
  • Barrett, JW., Williams, J., Griggs, J., Skene, S., & Lyon, R. (2022) What are the demographic and clinical differences between those older adults with traumatic brain injury who receive a neurosurgical intervention to those that do not? A systematic literature review with narrative synthesis, Brain Injury, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2022.2093398
  • Eaton-Williams P.J. & Williams, J. (2022). “See us as humans. Speak to us with respect. Listen to us.” A qualitative study on UK ambulance staff requirements of leadership while working during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Leader Published Online First: 12 September 2022. doi: 10.1136/leader-2022-000622
  • Griggs, J. E., Lyon, R. M., Sherriff, M., Barrett, J. W., Wareham, G., & Ter Avest, E. (2022). Predictive clinical utility of pre-hospital point of care lactate for transfusion of blood product in patients with suspected traumatic haemorrhage: derivation of a decision-support tool. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 30(1), 1-9.
  • Mortimer, C., & Ooms, A. (2022). Students’ experience and perceived value of a clinical simulation centre. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 14(6), 250-258.
  • Munro, S., Cooke, D., Joy, M., Smith, A., Poole, K., Perciato, L., Holah, J., Speirs, O. and Quinn, T. (2022). The pre-hospital 12-lead electrocardiogram is associated with longer delay and worse outcomes in patients presenting to emergency medical services with acute stroke: a linked cohort study. British Paramedic Journal, 7(2), pp.16-23.
  • Owen, P. & Sherriff, M. (2022) Is there an association between 30-day mortality and adrenaline infusion rates in post-ROSC patients? A retrospective observational analysis. British Paramedic Journal, 7(3), pp.1-7.
  • Ter Avest, E., Tunnicliff, M., Griggs, J., Griffiths, D., Cody, D., Nelson, M., Hurst, T. & Lyon, R. M. (2022). In-hospital extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation for patients with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a semi-rural setting: An observational study on the implementation of a helicopter emergency medical services pathway. Resuscitation plus, 12, 100339.

SECAmb research contact details

Should you wish to undertake any studies involving contact (direct / indirect) with Trust service users, staff, or data please get in touch with us at:


or access our website:


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