Research and Development

Welcome to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Research and Development department

Research helps to improve public health and patient care-enhancing knowledge, as well as advancing treatments in the NHS and making a difference to people’s lives.

The Research & Development (R&D) department supports the development of high quality research within the trust and ensures it is conducted and managed to a high scientific and ethical standard.

Please find information in the below table summarising the current research studies being undertaken by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Research and Development department:

Use and impact of the Pre-Hospital 12-lead Electro Cardio Gram in the primary PCI era. Mixed method study (PHECG-2)

Using routinely collected data from a large national audit, a review of ambulance records, and qualitative methods, we will assess the association of having pre-hospital ECG (PhECG) with patient outcomes, and research patient, practitioner and contextual factors contributing to the decision to record (or not) a PHECG. We will aim subsequently to develop an intervention to increase the proportion of eligible patients that receive a PHECG, and to produce a proposal for further funding to test this intervention in a subsequent randomised trial.

Study contact details:

Chris Evans – WAST Research Officer – 

Lucia Gavalova - Project Manager – 

Feasibility Study for Take Home Naloxone Kits: TIME

Opioid drugs such as heroin are involved in fatal overdose more often than any other drug, and deaths from overdose are increasing, with tragic consequences for families, friends and communities. Naloxone is a medicine that reverses opioid drug overdoses and is routinely used by paramedics and doctors in emergency settings. ‘Take Home Naloxone’ (THN) kits contain a dose of naloxone, a means of administering this dose, and written/graphic instructions. Despite the increasing popularity of THN, very little is known about the relative harms and benefits of this intervention, especially on a population level. The study involves collecting information about deaths, overdoses, and related emergency ambulance calls and emergency department attendances and admissions. We will compare these figures with those from two areas where THN is not distributed in this way and also carry out interviews and focus groups to find out about the experiences and views of patients and staff regarding THN.

Study Contact Details:

Chris Moore – WAST Principle Investigator -

Matthew Jones – Research Officer –

Strategies to manage Emergency ambulance Telephone Callers with sustained high needs - an Evaluation using linked Data

The NHS is under sustained pressure, particularly in emergency and urgent care, with 999 calls increasing by 6% every year, although fewer than 10% relate to patients with life threatening conditions. All UK ambulance services have identified a clinical and operational problem with persistent high users of the 999 service and have set up 'Frequent Callers' services, ranging from within-service to cross-sectoral multi-disciplinary case management approaches. These callers are known to be at high risk of mental health crises, such as self-harm and other crises of a varied nature. Current responses can be punitive and may simply shift unmet demand from one part of the system to another. There is a lack of evidence about what works in this setting and how. The study aims to evaluate effectiveness, safety and efficiency of case management approaches to the care of people who frequently call the emergency ambulance service; and gain understanding of barriers and facilitators to implementation.

Study Contact Details:

Rabeea’h Aslam – STRETCHED Project Manager –

Ashra Khanom – Chief Investigator –

Information leaflet


Improving care for people who Frequently call 999: co-production of guidance through an Observational study using Routine linked data and Mixed methods

People who frequently call the 999 ambulance service, at least five times a month, may have long term problems rather than a medical condition requiring urgent treatment. They need the right help but calling 999 may not work best for them or others trying to access emergency care. Ambulance services are exploring different ways to help these callers such as multidisciplinary case management, but without fully understanding the problem or how it benefits the patient. The study aims to create guidance for optimal care for people who frequently call 999 based on previous evidence, epidemiology and stakeholder views and experience.

Study Contact Details:

Ashra Khanom – Chief Investigator –

Ambulance paramedics Responding to urgent patient Requests In general practice for home Visits - Evaluation development

Paramedics are being employed in primary care roles - working directly for general practices, or by arrangement with a local ambulance service. The main task the paramedics undertake is home visits for people unable to attend the general practice. Using paramedics rather than GPs to undertake such tasks may help address challenges in GP capacity, but the impacts for patients and health services are unknown. The research of ARRIVE Stage 1 aims to gain information about the service design and rationale of paramedics in primary care roles in Wales. We will speak with staff involved in the delivery of such services. Knowledge gained will be used to inform Stage 2 of the ARRIVE, which will examine the feasibility of an evaluation of paramedics in general practice.

Study Contact Details:

Grayham Mclean – WAST Chief Investigator –

Mark Kingston – ARRIVE Project Manager –



The R&D department receives funding from Health and Care Research Wales to build capacity and capability to support high quality research and to maximise impact.

The Health and Care Research Wales website provides information to support research in Wales.


You can read the R&D department’s annual report here.