National survey for NHS ambulance staff and volunteers: Attitudes towards IPC before and during COVID-19

National survey for NHS ambulance staff and volunteers:
Attitudes towards infection prevention and control before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Survey submission date now extended to March 31.

All ambulance staff, managers, volunteers and student paramedics (who were deployed during the first wave of the pandemic) are being encouraged to share their experiences to help shape the way the ambulance sector prepares for and responds to future infection prevention and control (IPC) concerns and pandemics.

Explained Deborah Bullock, AACE National Specialist Advisor, IPC;

This opportunity brings together attitudes towards IPC and the reflections and experiences of staff, volunteers and student paramedics working across the United Kingdom, to allow the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) – and each service it represents – to identify best practice so it can be protected and shared, and areas where with hindsight our ambulance services and the staff within them, can learn lessons and improve future responses.

Hilary Pillin, AACE Urgent and Emergency Care Strategy Advisor, added;

The pandemic brought with it many difficulties, frustrations and concerns and the way we pulled together is testament to the commitment to provide the best services possible to our patients; together we have given a remarkable response to the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced.

COVID-19 also sparked opportunities to work differently, and this survey aims to draw out the processes and steps we need to protect, and those we need to improve together.

Your lived experiences and insights are important

The survey, which opened in December 2021, was commissioned by AACE and part funded by UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England), NHS National Services Scotland, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, and AACE.

It is being administered and analysed independently by Zeal Solutions Ltd – a team of psychologists who use evidence to understand and inform decision making and offer practical answers to what they find.

The survey questions are unique to the ambulance sector thanks to the staff, volunteers and student paramedics who spoke with Zeal Solutions Ltd to help build the survey, which includes the following themes:

  • Awareness of IPC precautions
  • Attitudes towards IPC
  • Concerns about infectious disease
  • Factors that support IPC practice
  • Factors that can make IPC difficult in practice
  • Knowledge of IPC precautions
  • Levels of IPC confidence
  • Compliance with IPC precautions
  • Training and education on IPC precautions
  • Safety climate/culture
  • IPC lessons learned from the pandemic
  • Wellbeing

Dr Antonio Zarola, Managing Director at Zeal Solutions Ltd said:

This survey requires people to reflect on their thoughts and feelings before and during the COVID-19 pandemic; what they are feeling today may be very different to what they felt and experienced during the first wave.

As well as identifying processes that provide clarity and reduce anxiety, the responses to this survey will allow us to understand and evidence how IPC knowledge and attitudes can influence behaviour and decision-making, and how that impacts on our wellbeing.

Colleagues, volunteers and student paramedics received an email in December 2021 containing the survey link. They have until 31 March 2022 to submit responses.

AACE are grateful to those in our community who are taking this opportunity to shape the way the ambulance sector prepares for – and responds to – future IPC concerns and pandemics.

In return we commit to valuing the feedback and to sharing the themes, actions and timelines created to respond to the lessons we will learn together.

You can also view our IPC Resources here.

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