South Central Ambulance Service paramedic backs 'incredibly important' mental health and wellbeing campaign

"I have seen first-hand how the wellbeing initiatives make a huge difference to my colleagues”
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A paramedic working for the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has championed its work on mental health and wellbeing.

Jack Ansell, paramedic and operations manager for volunteer community first responders at SCAS, is taking part in the NHS Charities Together 'With All Our Hearts' campaign.

Jack who works for the ambulance service that covers Milton Keynes and wider-Bucks will participate in the scheme reiterating the importance of health and wellbeing support for NHS staff.

Jack Ansell  (Photo by Nick Guise-Smith / MirrorBoxStudios)Jack Ansell  (Photo by Nick Guise-Smith / MirrorBoxStudios)
Jack Ansell (Photo by Nick Guise-Smith / MirrorBoxStudios)

This is the second year that the campaign has run to support the 1.5 million NHS staff dealing with unprecedented pressures.

Jack, who has worked for SCAS for over 20 years, said: "Being a paramedic is harder than it has ever been before.

"I have seen first-hand how the wellbeing initiatives make a huge difference to my colleagues and I. We see some really awful situations as paramedics, so it is incredibly important to manage your mental health.

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"Access to support such as wellbeing zones, gardens, physiotherapy and having trained colleagues to talk to after traumatic incidents, really help support or physical and mental health. Having access to these types of support and more besides at all our ambulance stations, is really invaluable."

Among the schemes included in the programme is a 24-hour employee assistance service, available to staff and their family members, a comprehensive occupational health project and a range of welfare services staff can access whilst on duty.

Jack added: “External factors such as the cost-of-living crisis also aren’t helping. Staff are leaving the Ambulance Service as they need to take jobs with more pay, less stress and more stable hours to support their families. This is leading to my colleagues doing more work with fewer staff.

"My paramedic colleagues just want small, simple things to make their working life more pleasant, such as the ability to have a hot or cold drink, somewhere to heat their food and spaces to relax on breaks. It’s just the basics, but not all paramedics have access to these amenities. It makes life as a paramedic feel much harder. When staff are well looked after, patients benefit too.”