WEST Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers Herefordshire, has issued a fresh plea for help as it faces rising pressure.

The service said the country had higher rates of Covid infections than ever before, and additional measures were being put in place.

Those measures, it said, would ensure it could continue to get to those most in need of help quickly and save as many lives as possible.

And although the service said it had been able to recruit hundreds of extra staff in control rooms and ambulances, it wanted to further increase its workforce, asking anyone interested to get in touch.

Chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “We are once again, looking for any staff who retired within the last two years or are working in the private sector for the likes of events medical companies who would like to come back into the NHS family to get in touch. 

“We are particularly looking for people who worked on an ambulance or in one of our control rooms to contact us.  We have already had former members of staff get in touch who went on a career break offering to come back, which we welcome.

“Over the last couple of years, we know that several staff have retired from our service after giving many years of outstanding care to the public.

“We would like those colleagues to consider returning to WMAS so that we can increase the quality and amount of care that we can provide the public in these challenging times.”

With record infection rates across the country, Herefordshire is no exception.

In the seven days to December 29, 2,019 people tested positive in the county, the Uk Government's coronavirus dashboard said.

That gave the county an infection rate of 1042.8 cases per 100,00 people – the highest ever.

The new record infection rate in Herefordshire was almost double the previous high of 668.3 cases per 100,000 on September 27.

Mr Marsh added: “Across our country, we see the incredible efforts that so many people are going to, to help others, such as the ‘army’ of people vaccinating and ‘boosting’ Britain.

"There is no question that getting vaccinated and your booster is the best way we can tackle the Omicron variant.

“For those who have retired, I know how much the time you spent with us meant to you; many of you have told me that when we have spoken.

"I wouldn’t ask you to rejoin if I didn’t think it was the right thing for the public of the West Midlands and our patients.”

Those interested in rejoining should email recruitment manager Louise Jones at louise.jones@wmas.nhs.uk in the first instance.