10 June 2019 - Paramedic Wins New Orleans Trip for Project to Improve Learning

IMG_0445An advanced paramedic from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has been celebrated at the College of Paramedic’s National Conference as he is presented with the prestigious 2019 Golden Nugget prize winning him a trip to New Orleans.

Shaun Tierney, 49 from Preston, blew away the judging panel with his simple but effective technique to improve the way clinicians are debriefed after a complex incident.

As part of his Master’s studies, Shaun identified an opportunity to improve the way that ambulance staff are debriefed by a senior clinician and set about researching a streamlined and consistent approach to reflecting on complicated incidents and gaining learning wherever possible.

Shaun discovered that by applying a structured evidence based framework used in hospitals and emergency medicine called ‘The Diamond Debrief’ which explores the factors that influence decision making through a specific process, staff were able to understand their actions more clearly and identify and share any learning opportunities.

The implementation of the tool, which underwent a 12 week trial, is expected to improve patient care by reducing errors as well as improve mental wellbeing for staff as they are able to more clearly understand what factors led to certain outcomes in an open and understanding setting.

Shaun’s work was published in the British Paramedic Journal in 2018. Five stand-out journal articles from the year were shortlisted for the Golden Nugget prize and authors were all asked to present at the annual conference on 15 May where Shaun was announced the winner.

Winning the opportunity to present his work on an international stage at the World Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Expo conference in New Orleans this October, Shaun said: “I’m extremely proud with this huge achievement and thankful to my tutor for pushing me to get the work published.

“I’m confident that this tool will make a real difference to the level of care that patients receive and passionate about moving this forward with the aim to see it implemented in ambulance services across the country and beyond!”

After a successful trial, 100% of facilitators reported improvements in identifying and supporting learning and 85% of clinicians reported an improved process by using the framework. Shaun is now working to secure funding so that this can be fully implemented across the trust.

Consultant Paramedic, Matt House, said “This is an excellent example of the great work being done by Shaun and all of our advanced paramedics. Shaun’s work will help NWAS clinicians further improve the outstanding care they provide for our patients.

“We are very proud to have people like Shaun, who look constantly for ways to develop the service we provide.”