UK emergency services TETRA network operator Airwave has worked with the Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust to deliver an end user engagement programme to their paramedics and ambulance crews.
As part of the radio terminal refresh programme within ambulance trusts in England, users on the Isle of Wight were the first to receive the new Sepura STP 9000 radio terminals in August 2013.
The Airwave end user programme, designed to engage directly with users of the Airwave Service, was used as an opportunity to demonstrate the new functionality of the terminals, as well as provide a refresher on using the Airwave Service.
According to Paul Cassford, Integrated HUB IM & T Infrastructure Manager, Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust: “We timed the visit to enable users to familiarise themselves with the new terminal and with the Airwave end user engagement team on site, they could answer questions and provide advice on best use. A user-friendly guide was also produced by Airwave, which is specific to our needs and shows how to get the best out of the new terminals.”
Users also had the opportunity to give feedback directly to their dedicated Airwave team representatives.
“Within the Trust we have established communication channels between the management team and the operational staff, even down to self-appointed super users – users who make themselves available to their colleagues – who are experts on using the Airwave Service,” added Cassford.
Feedback from the super-users suggested that formal training should be kept to a minimum, as users were confident that the switchover would be seamless. As such, the Trust decided to follow a practical approach and made available a number of test radios supported with additional information informing users of the pending terminal changeover, the reasons for the change and timelines.
“We are a small operational organisation with strong communication links between the management team, operational staff and users. We take a consultative approach to the dissemination of information resulting in effective implementation of new policies and procedures,” concluded Cassford.
The Trust has 130 users using the Airwave Network: 56 handheld terminals (two in every frontline vehicle; and one on each of the transport patient service and rapid response vehicles).