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Observer - Rules & Guidance

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) recognises and accepts its responsibility as an employer for providing a safe and healthy work place and working environment. At the same time, all employees and visitors have a responsibility to comply with safety rules and operational procedures laid down in the areas of activity. To the best of their individual ability they will take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and to others.

  • Due to the nature of the Ambulance Service it is difficult to predict the type of incident or locations that you will attend. With this in mind you should wear clothing that is practical and yet offers some protection from the elements etc. At the start of your shift you will be given a holdall containing a reflective jacket that clearly identifies you as an “observer” and a helmet. In particular you should wear footwear that offers protection to the feet and has a non-slip sole.
  • At all times you must act under the instructions of the crew of the vehicle. This relates to your seating position in the vehicle and whilst at incidents or locations. Contravening these guidelines or instructions given by the crew may result in your observation period being terminated by the crew or a manager.
  • For your own safety, you should remain seated with seatbelt applied, whilst the vehicle is in motion.
  • At the beginning of the period of observation you should acquaint yourself with the layout of the vehicle and the location of any safety equipment, fire extinguishers etc.
  • During the course of this period of observation you should not attempt to use any items of Trust equipment or offer any treatment to a patient unless asked to do so by the attendant/ crew members.
  • You must not attempt to lift or carry a patient or attempt any procedure that places you, the ambulance staff or the patient at risk.
  • You owe a duty of confidence to patients and must not, therefore, disclose any patient identifiable information about patients to a third party.
  • If for operational or patient care related reasons it is not possible to immediately convey you either from the scene of an incident to hospital or from hospital back to an Ambulance Station, the Trust will make every effort to do so, as soon as possible.
  • You should come prepared to complete the whole shift and if necessary work beyond the normal shift time. Crews will not be permitted to make special journeys to secure your release from duty.
  • The Trust operates a No Smoking policy which you must comply with.
  • You should not drink alcohol in the 12 hours before the start of the shift.
  • You are not permitted to take any photographs (this includes mobile phones, which should be switched off during the shift), unless you have written permission from the Trust’s communications department to do so.

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