The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is partnering with the internationally acclaimed GoodSAM app to respond to life-threatening calls involving cardiac arrest.
Appropriately trained off-duty EEAST frontline staff and our community first responders can respond to alerts via the GoodSAM app on their smartphone. The sooner effective Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is started, the better the chances of survival for the patient. If a defibrillator is readily available, patients are six times as likely to survive.
Gary Morgan, Deputy Director of Service Delivery for EEAST, said “This is excellent news for members of the public. Having seen the success of the system in other regions in the UK, we are keen to bring the benefits of GoodSAM to the East of England. By connecting a community of appropriately trained and accredited volunteers, our collaboration with GoodSAM has the potential to save lives across the region.
“By providing quality CPR in the first few minutes following cardiac arrest, we are able to give the patient the best chance of survival. The partnership will not affect or be a substitute for standard ambulance or CFR ) dispatch. Those resources will continue to be sent to the scene in the usual way.”
This development has been part-funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Nesta, as part of the Accelerating Ideas Fund and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Meet the inventor
Professor Mark Wilson, neurosurgeon and GoodSAM co-founder, said: “If a patient has a cardiac arrest or a traumatic head injury, it is the first few minutes after the incident that determine the outcome – life, death, or long-term brain injury. There are first aid trained people all around us but usually the first they know of a neighbour having a cardiac arrest is an ambulance appearing in their street. If they had known and started CPR a few minutes before the ambulance arrived, chances of survival can rise significantly. GoodSAM now makes this possible, connecting those with the skills to the public in their minute of need.”
There is no obligation or requirement for anyone to register with the application or accept and alert. Therefore, attending a GoodSAM alert does not have any connection to your work with EEAST. If you attend a patient, you can't claim additional time off, payment, time off in lieu hours, or start your operational shift later. The GoodSAM app is a voluntary endeavour to provide CPR to patients near you until the ambulance arrives and takes over.
How will it work?
When an emergency call is directed to one of our emergency operations centres (control rooms) and is classified to involve cardiac arrest, details will automatically be sent through to the GoodSAM app, which will alert the nearest volunteer responder who has registered with the app.
If the responder is available, they can accept the alert via the GoodSAM app and make their way to the patient in need.
If the volunteer responder is unable to accept the alert, it can be declined and will get diverted through to the next nearest responder.
The responder will also be advised of the location of the nearest defibrillator. When a public access defibrillator is used in cardiac arrest, the overall survival rate to discharge is 58.6 per cent.
The GoodSAM app uses GPS technology to alert trained first responders to nearby life-threatening emergencies.
Who can volunteer to be a responder?
Initially, EEAST ambulance service staff and community first responders can volunteer.
We will assess how the system is working locally before possibly opening it out to suitably trained people working in the other emergency services or registered doctors and nurses.
EEAST is in the process of rolling out GoodSAM into the organisation and would like to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a GoodSAM responder. Get in touch at GoodSAM@eastamb.nhs.uk
Want to learn more about the GoodSAM App?
Visit the GoodSAM website for more about the app.