Paramedic receives Churchill Fellowship

Bruce Wicksteed became interested in improving |emergency transport for children while working as a nurse at the PMH ICU. Picture: Elle Borgward d402455
Bruce Wicksteed became interested in improving |emergency transport for children while working as a nurse at the PMH ICU. Picture: Elle Borgward d402455

Mr Wicksteed featured on the Courier’s front page last month when he was one of a handful to graduate from a new St John Ambulance and Curtin University Certificate in Paramedicine. He has now been named one of 11 in WA to receive a 2013 Churchill Fellowship.

With the backing of Princess Margaret Hospital for Children Intensive Care Unit director Geoff Knight, the former PMH ICU nurse will spend about six weeks researching, observing and recording a range of paediatric care transport models in Auckland (New Zealand), Salt Lake City (USA), Edmonton (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden) and London and Glasgow in the UK next year.

Mr Wicksteed said he became interested in improving emergency transport for children while working as a nurse at the PMH ICU.

‘I was feeling that children outside of the metropolitan area need better services, as well as support for the health professionals working in the country who don’t have direct access to the expertise of a paediatric ICU,’ he said.

‘As our metropolitan population expands at an ever-increasing rate and with new hospitals being built, including the new children’s hospital, the timing is right to put some decent thought into our future needs rather than waiting for a crisis and then responding with a ‘knee-jerk’ system that perhaps won’t be as complete as we would like.

‘Now that I also work in the pre-hospital setting (as a paramedic), I became aware of how the existing services can be integrated to support such a service.’

Dr Knight said WA presented a unique challenge because while all patients had the same need to be transported to specialist care, whether they were in Fremantle or Kununurra, it should not be impacted by a timeline or available resources.