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News Report Page 12 of 18
Publication Date:- 2018-24-03
News reports located on this page = 2.

NWAS Innovator Joanne celebrates Association of Ambulance Chief Executives Award win

NORTH West Ambulance Service Medicines Performance Facilitator Joanne Hammond has been recognised by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) for her innovative achievements in developing a new platform to source, store, distribute and monitor medicines. On the evening of Tuesday 20 March Joanne's achievements were recognised by the AACE by winning the award in the Innovation and Change category at the annual Ambulance Leadership Forum Gala Awards at Chesford Grange.

The evening was a special opportunity for the AACE and colleagues to recognise members of staff across all UK Ambulance services who have provided truly outstanding service, going above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of categories representing the whole breadth of service delivery.

Following changes to medicines regulations a new platform was needed, a complex task which was led by Joanne, bringing cheerfulness, resilience and positivity to the project, whilst demonstrating innovation throughout. Thanks to Joanne's hard work NWAS now has a reliable medicines supply accessible via the medicines hub.

Joanne describes her motivation as ''wanting to make medicine processes easy, safe and cost efficient, whilst always ensuring patients' needs are met. It's been a long standing challenge that I enjoy but there's still lots to be done yet."

On winning the award Joanne had the following to say "I feel totally blown away to be recognised as an Innovation and Change Champion. We should all strive to improve processes and make them safer in whatever role you play in the organisation, I'm happy that this is how I could make my personal contribution to the trust. Not being a front line member of staff and getting this type of recognition in an Ambulance service has been amazing and I am honestly overwhelmed by it!"

NWAS Medical Director David Ratcliffe added:- "Joanne never ceases to amaze. She is an incredibly resilient and positive individual who brings the very best out of whatever team she is working with. Totally restructuring the medicines processes was a daunting challenge, and Joanne took on this project with characteristic enthusiasm resulting in safer and more reliable care for our patients and a robust system for our staff."

Joanne qualified from University in 2002 with a Paramedic Science Degree. She has completed the IHCD Ambulance Technician and IHCD paramedic courses with South Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Having then changed to a career in pharmacy and gained registration as a Pharmacy Technician she progressed through various medicines management positions that led Joanne to NWAS and her current, highly valued, role as Medicines Performance Facilitator.

Junk food alcohol tool proves popular

MORE than 10,000 people in Liverpool have completed an online tool comparing how much they drink with calories in junk food. Hundreds of people have been logging on to the:- 'Drink Less Feel Good' My Drinks Check tool every day since it launched 6 weeks ago.

The tool concentrates on calories rather than units as a fresh approach to try and get people to think differently about their drinking and trigger a change in their behaviour.

It followed research which showed that people perceive high levels of drinking as the norm and find alcohol units confusing.

Drink Less Feel Good uses hard hitting and memorable images to highlight that the 510 calories in 3 pints of beer is the equivalent of eating 2 burgers, and that the 630 calories in 3 large glasses of wine is the same as munching 3 doughnuts.

Drink Less Feel Good is linked to a website, where people will be able complete:- 'My Drinks Check,' a quick and easy tool that gives personalised and tailored information on:-

Drinking levels; rated green, amber and red.

The calorie equivalent they are drinking each week shown as doughnuts.

How many miles they would have to walk to burn their drink calories off.

How their drinking compares to others of the same gender and age.

'My Drinks Check' offers personalised advice and tips about how they can make small changes to their habits and daily life that will help them drink less and reduce calorie intake.

The headline results so far show that over ½ are drinking more than the 14 unit weekly national guideline set by the Chief Medial Officer; but believe they drink less or the same as people their age.

Many also drink because they believe it helps them relax, or when they are out socialising with family of friends.

Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Davies, said:- "We introduced Drink Less Feel Good because when we asked people about alcohol units it was clear that they found it really hard to equate it to the amount that they drink, and that they didn't realise that alcohol contains empty calories with no nutritional value at all. We'd encourage anyone to take just a few minutes to complete the My Drinks Check; you may be surprised how many calories you drink through alcohol."

Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for adult health, said:- "We wanted to create a really simple and effective way of enabling people to take a drinks check. The figures in just 6 weeks of launching it speak for themselves and we're encouraged by the huge numbers of people that have tried it. It shows people are curious to see how their drinking compares with others, what this equates to in caolories and the personalised tips and advice the tool offers.  Making small changes to your drinking habits can help manage your weight, lift your mood, boost your energy levels and generally make you feel good. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to make little changes that can be slotted into everyday life such as delaying your 1st drink when out socialising or finding other ways to relax after a busy day instead of reaching for a glass of wine or a beer. We're not asking people to give up alcohol altogether; we're giving them the tools to know whether or not they are having too much, and if so give them hints and tips to drink a little less."

A range of communication channels are being used to raise awareness of Drink Less Feel Good including:- targeted digital, print and social media advertising, plus community events and information cards in prescription bags at some pharmacies across the City.

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