Strong new links have been forged between TASC, The Ambulance Staff Charity and the ambulance service on the Isle of Wight following an invited visit to the island.

Past and present ambulance staff within the Isle of Wight NHS Trust will now find it easier to access vital support provided through TASC, if needed, following the visit, which builds on a link established at last year’s Ambulance Memorial Service in Staffordshire.

TASC Director of Support Services, Jean Hayes, visited Isle of Wight NHS Trust, which runs the island’s ambulance service, to meet Clinical Director Chris Smith and other members of staff. The purpose of the visit was to raise awareness of the advice and support services available through TASC and to identify and recruit supporters and regional champions.

The invitation to visit the Isle of Wight came about after Paul Hemmett, acting Performance Support Officer at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, met TASC staff at the Ambulance Memorial Service held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.

He said:

“I spoke to staff, including Jean, at the Arboretum last year and offered to assist the charity in any way we could, such as selling TASC badges on their behalf. I realised that not many staff on the Isle of Wight seemed to know about TASC, so I wanted to encourage and get the charity known more here for the benefit of our staff.

“We have had staff off with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic injuries in the past that may have been passed to TASC for additional support if we had known then what we know now.”

During the visit to the Isle of Wight TASC were able to meet front line staff, including paramedics and Emergency Vehicle Operatives, as well as staff in the contact centre and involved in patient transport services.

Added Paul:

“It was a very successful visit. We got a good number of staff to speak to TASC and the feedback following the visit has been very positive.”

Jean commented:

“We had a very positive meeting with staff and senior representatives at Isle of Wight NHS Trust who welcomed the wide range of valuable services that TASC has available. The Clinical Director and ambulance lead, Chris Smith, is very supportive of what TASC do and, hopefully, is keen to encourage TASC champions and supporters. We also discussed a number of future fundraising initiatives.

“We aim to provide a single point of contact through our dedicated and independent professional Support Services team and TASC Freephone support line which will help provide access “

Picture: TASC visit Isle of Wight ambulance to meet acting performance support officer and TASC champion Paul Hemmett, Clinical Director Chris Smith, and one of the paramedics.

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