Mayor Opens Brentford Ambulance Training Facility

Sadiq Khan joined by Ruth Cadbury to meet with trainee crews

The Mayor and Ruth Cadbury meet with staff at the centre


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Earlier this month Ruth Cadbury joined the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for the opening of a new London Ambulance Service (LAS) Training facility in Brentside Business Park in Brentford.

The £7 million state-of-the-art education facility will be used to increase recruitment and boost the training of frontline medics and control room staff.

During the visit, the Brentford and Isleworth MP and the Mayor saw the new state of the art facilities in action and met with trainee crew members to hear about their experiences training. They saw one of the new fleet of electric ambulances that London Ambulance Service has bought, along with one of the electric fast response motorbikes. They also had a chance to meet ambulance staff’s trade union representatives.

The Mayor at the opening with Daniel Elekeles and the new electric motorbike
The Mayor at the opening with Daniel Elekeles and the new electric motorbike

Before declaring the centre officially open, the Mayor took part in a training exercise in a new ambulance simulation suite.

The suite, known as the ‘simbulance’, provides immersive, virtual training for students in which they can gain experience of driving and operating an ambulance on London’s busy roads, as well as learning how to provide the highest standards of patient care. It replicates the driving conditions of London roads by projecting video and sound to fully immerse learners, and features hi-tech, life-like Laerdal mannequin ‘patients’, which record how effectively students are performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and patient observations, to further aid their learning and standards of care. The simbulance is the only one of its kind in use by an ambulance trust.

At the visit staff spoke about how the new facilities were developing their skills and improving outcomes for patients.

Paramedic Maya Christopher said, `“The training here is excellent. The equipment is very high quality, so you are learning in a very realistic environment so when you go out on the road, you already know where everything is and how things works.

“This means you are confident when you start treating patients. The job can still be pretty unpredictable, you never know what you’re going to be facing each day – but that’s what I love about it.”

Associate ambulance practitioner (AAP) Faye Bittle who changed careers from an office-based role urged others who were thinking about it to find out more.

The AAP role is an entry route role to become a Paramedic without the requirement of going to university. On completing training, candidates can ultimately apply for a paramedic degree apprenticeship funded by LAS.

LAS expects the Brentford facility, coupled with a newly opened twin site in Newham, east London, to train about 1,000 new recruits in a variety of operational roles each year.

The newly-launched centres are part of wider ongoing efforts by LAS to significantly boost recruitment and training of its operational workforce, to meet increased levels of patient demand. This month it was named top NHS employer for apprenticeships in the country and is one of only three NHS trusts in the country to make the rankings in the Department for Education’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022.

Commenting on his visit, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said, “I am absolutely delighted to officially open the Brentside Education Centre. I’ve seen first-hand the state-of-the-art technology being used to train new recruits, which provides the perfect platform for trainee paramedics and emergency call handlers to join the front-line and help save lives.

“A stronger, bigger London Ambulance Service is integral to supporting the wider NHS and ensuring that all Londoners are safe, healthy and well cared for. That is exactly why I’m backing the service’s most ambitious recruitment drive in its history and encouraging Londoners from all backgrounds to apply. It’s an opportunity to develop new skills and enter into a fulfilling career, making a difference for Londoners when they need it most. With this new cutting-edge training facility now officially open, there is no better time to join the London Ambulance Service.”

Speaking after the visit Ms Cadbury said, ‘‘It was great to attend this new training facility with the Mayor and to meet with ambulance crew members.

‘‘I got to hear about the London Ambulance Service’s ongoing work to keep Londoners safe and I know people locally really value the work done by ambulance crews at a time of significant challenge. I was really pleased to see the new facilities, including the electric vehicles that they have invested in.

I fully support their new recruitment campaign to recruit 1,000 new ambulance staff and would encourage anyone who is interested to apply - including those leaving school and college.’’

LAS chief executive Daniel Elkeles said, “We are embarking on the most ambitious recruitment programme our service has ever seen, and our fantastic new Brentside Education Centre will play a pivotal role in this plan by training hundreds of new operational recruits to the very highest standard each year.

“The ground-breaking technology and excellent quality of teaching at our Brentside site will help us create a new pipeline of homegrown London talent to fill a variety of operational roles at LAS, both on the frontline and in our control rooms.”


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July 25, 2022

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