Bariatric Patients

FOI Number: 24009

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Bariatric Patients, is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 11 March 2024

WMFS OFFICIAL – NEW – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI24009 

Ref: FOI/24009 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST 

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your Freedom of Information request. 

Please find below a summary of our findings. 

Request 

How many callouts has the service attended for a plus size patient either in an evacuation process or to assist them with movement in their home or hospital between 1st January to 31st December in 2022 and January 1st to 31st December 2023?  

Reply 

This information is exempt under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. The information can be found on the Birmingham Observatory website at the following link:    

https://www.cityobservatory.birmingham.gov.uk/@west-midlands-fire-service/bariatric-incidents

Please note data for 2023 is exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is intended for future publication. Data for 2023 will be published at the end of the financial year. 

Request 

For callouts involving plus-size patients, how many vehicles attend the scene?  

Reply 

Non-life threatening – Fire service do not attend unless rope rescue is needed. Often fire control will still contact the Technical Rescue Advisor (TRA) for advice or assistance of Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) 

Life threatening – TRA advised and will attend with whatever modules they need. Additional Pump Rescue Ladder (PRL’s) may be requested if TRU need further assistance. There is no set Level of Response (LOR), its all about the information gathering from control and anyone on scene) 

Request 

In instances of callouts to plus-size patients, how many staff members are typically present on a vehicle? 

Reply 

All of the TRU will attend in multiple vehicles where the equipment is transported. If a PRL is needed for support there will be 4 or 5 on that PRL 

Request 

If a callout to a plus-size patient occurs, who covers the watch during that time?  

Reply  

There are 3 TRU’s in the West Midlands strategically located. If one TRU is attending an incident, there may be a standby move in which another TRU covers that station. 

Request 

In the period of Jan to Dec 2022 and Jan to Dec 2023, did any members of staff go off from work injured due to moving a plus-size patient, if so, how many?   

Reply 

There is no evidence of anyone going off from work in that period, due to handling bariatric patients. 

Request 

If a callout to assist in moving a plus-size patient happens, who is responsible for covering the associated service costs?  

Reply  

The ambulance service has overall responsibility to cover any associated costs but there is a mutual understanding with WMFS where these costs may not always be charged 

Request 

Does your service have equipment to facilitate and support moving a plus-size patient? 

Reply 

Yes. there is limited equipment that can be used on a PRL but there is dedicated specialist equipment within the Technical rescue team 

Request 

Has your service seen an increase in activity for supporting Plus-size patients?  

Reply  

This information is exempt under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. The information can be found on the Birmingham Observatory website at the following link:    

https://www.cityobservatory.birmingham.gov.uk/@west-midlands-fire-service/bariatric-incidents

Please note data for 2023 is exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is intended for future publication. Data for 2023 will be published at the end of the financial year. 

Request 

Does your service believe there is a growing need for a service to facilitate moving plus-size patients 

Reply 

There is an increased requirement and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) from West Midlands Ambulance Service has increased its staffing, funding and equipment for this purpose. TRU provide the facility at Bickenhill for joint Bariatric training with HART. 

The West Midlands Ambulance Service and West Midlands Fire Service are always working in partnership with the aim of providing the best possible services to the communities of the West Midlands. 

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.  

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF. 

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.