Safer Nightlife Tagline

What is a Nightclub Medic.

In light of the rise in use and dangers of Recreational Drugs; including New Psychoactive Substances (misleadingly known as legal highs), as well as hospital admissions and deaths, Nightclub Medics have never before been such a vital part of our night-time economy as now. Nightclub Medics bridge the gap between First Aiders and hospital care with specialty training and awareness in alcohol intoxication, recreational drug use and Minor Injuries. They provide a service to nightclubs, licensed premises and club related music events. They do not take over the role of statutory services (eg. Paramedics, Nurses and Doctors). Nightclub Medics enhance on the first aid provision by providing the service to fully assess/monitor and treat patients and to provide an enhanced level of emergency medical care – providing incredible benefits to the outcome of the patient, and your venue. They are the ideal alternative to First Aiders, who often hold no training, awareness or facility to safely assess, monitor and treat those intoxicated with alcohol and/or drugs, including the recognition and early-treatment of Serotonin Toxicity. It’s negligence and a danger to providers, clients and most importantly, patients, to provide inadequate cover to the night-time economy with staff who lack this.

Mixed with their specialist training in recreational drug use, Nightclub Medics provide the capability to fully assess and monitor patients which is incredibly vital when dealing with potential medical emergencies as well as alcohol and drug intoxication – as symptoms of this can mimic those of many other conditions and medical emergencies; such as Hypoglycemia and Head Injury. They can therefore treat more appropriately on-site, heavily reducing 999 ambulance calls and referrals to hospital, providing more adequate treatment whilst awaiting the arrival of Emergency Services, and by quickly recognising the onset of medical emergencies such as Serotonin Toxicity; allowing quicker treatment and referral to A&E providing a greater chance of survival. Without our presence and ability to fully assess a patient’s vital signs and history, this may be left unnoticed until it is too late.

They are aware of the different types of recreational drugs and regularly kept up-to-date with the types and batches in circulation locally and nationally through working with drugs agencies and Police Scotland. They also have a responsibility to ensure other club staff are informed and trained in the toxicity of recreational drugs and the common features seen in individuals becoming unwell through these.

Our Nightclub Medics also offer an incredibly valuable drop in advice service; offering confidential and completely non-judgemental advice in first aid, alcohol, drugs and sexual health.

What the Home Office and NHS say.

“In some cases, particularly large or all-night events, it may be necessary to buy in additional emergency medical cover. There are a number of companies who provide specialised services to dance events. Again, it is important that these companies have a track record of working with drug induced problems. It should not be assumed that such reputable organisations as the Red Cross or St. John Ambulance Service necessarily possess the requisite experience. Even highly experienced and skilled NHS trained nurses and paramedics should not be expected to work in this setting without the supervision of a colleague with experience of working with drug-induced problems.”
-Safer Nightlife. London: Home Office, London Drug Policy Forum, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

The Benefits.

  • Highly trained on-site uniformed professionals providing incredibly high standards of care to your patrons.
  • Experienced frontline 999 clinicians, able to reduce 999 ambulance calls.
  • Reduced blue light presence.
  • Reduced licencing and policing issues due to a reduced emergency service impact/presence, and the presence of reputable and highly trained medical staff.
  • Early recognition of life-threatening emergencies which would otherwise be left unnoticed by First Aiders & Security, until too late.
  • Reassurance to yourselves and your patrons that professional care is at hand to staff, patrons and VIPs.
  • Allows named First Aiders (Door staff, bar staff etc) to focus on their role, with the reassurance that all First Aid & Medical incidents are being looked after by a genuinely honest, caring and professional team.
  • Our close relationship with local authorities, including nursing & medical staff at local A&E departments.
  • A team of the most passionate, honest, reliable and skilled staff in the industry, with a unique non-judgemental attitude and approach to care.
  • Heartstart (British Heart Foundation) and AED training for your staff.

Where we work.

Our Nightclub Medics work within nightclubs, licensed premises and at any music related events (eg. outdoor raves and music festivals) where there are high expectations of drug and/or alcohol consumption. This can be one-off events and specific club nights (eg. busy nights with higher expectancy of drug use and violence), or regular full-time contracts to provide weekly cover. At music events our Nightclub Medics are an excellent supplement to, or in some cases a replacement to First Aid provision and prove to be an invaluable resource.

In the community.

Our Nightclub Medics can also provide their unique services to a variety of community settings, including; Safe Zones and SOS Bus schemes, offering; alcohol, drugs (+ NPS) and sexual health advice, as well as enhanced First Aid and clinician led emergency medical treatment. We strongly believe that First Aid providers should not be solely providing cover in any circumstance to these environments (SOS Bus and Safe Zone schemes) without specialist awareness training in recreational drug use and New Psychoactive Substances, or without the ability for staff to safely and competently assess patients presenting under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (with full patient assessment, including blood glucose and basic cardiac monitoring).

Festival Case Study.

With a crew of our Nightclub Medics based within each First Aid post at a major music festival, managing the First Aid post alongside First Aiders, we could immediately heavily reduce ambulance calls and hospital referrals, and provide more pro-active and life-saving treatment on-site prior to arrival of the Ambulance Service.

Symptoms of drug & alcohol intoxication mimic those of many other conditions and medical emergencies, meaning more patrons will be sent to hospital via 999 ambulance (rightly so) for precaution. Using recreational drugs can and often will induce serious conditions, such a hypoglycemia, hyperthermia and seizures (eg. Serotonin Toxicity). By using Nightclub Medics, they can assess and monitor patients at an enhanced level to quickly recognise and often prevent these conditions from deteriorating, allowing quick and safe referral to hospital. We can also safely treat some of these conditions on-site prior to deterioration, to clinical guidelines, preventing unnecessary 999 ambulance calls and hospital referrals.

In cases of Medical Emergencies, eg. Serotonin Toxicity, having our Nightclub Medics ensures early-recognition where we can begin pro-active treatment, and quicker referral for life-saving treatment at hospital. This may otherwise be left unnoticed without the ability of First Aiders to fully assess the patient, and in cases of Serotonin Toxicity it can become severe and life-threatening very rapidly, when it may be too late to reduce deterioration. Our team of Nightclub Medics are very experienced in dealing with these conditions, and treat in excess of 1000 patients per year who present with alcohol and/or drug related problems. Nightclub  Medics have enhanced training in recreational drug use and know what’s in circulation nationally and in the local area, a knowledge which is often passed to those we work alongside including Security, First Aiders and Paramedics. We build on our CPD continually and work with various agencies to ensure our training is of the highest standards.

Key Activities.

(Home Office ‘Safer Nightlife’ guide):

  • Awareness of the current trends in recreational drug use and any particular patterns in drug use within their venue.
  • Understand the toxicity associated with the various categories of recreational drugs and the common presenting features associated with them.
  • Assessing and managing patients with recreational drug toxicity using the Ambulance Referral Guidelines as well as clinical guidelines.
  • Training of other club staff in the toxicity of recreational drugs and common features seen in individuals becoming unwell through recreational drugs.
  • Liaising with other club staff to ensure that venues are appropriately patrolled to identify individuals who have or may be developing recreational drug toxicity.
  • Maintaining club medic room facilities so that they are appropriately equipped and staffed at all times.
  • Awareness of medical issues relating to Chapter 5 and in particular, where appropriate, local availability and guidance concerning post-exposure prophylaxis.
  • Ensuring that their personal training in first aid is sufficient to be able to deliver a safe and appropriate service, not just for assessing individuals with recreational drug toxicity but also those who may require medical assistance for other reasons.

-Webster, R (2008). Safer Nightlife. London: Home Office, London Drug Policy Forum, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. p78-79.

Training Standards.

Our Nightclub Medics come from an incredibly wide range of backgrounds with one set standard in minimum training (up-skilled First Aiders and Responders, EMTs, A&E CSWs). In addition to vast First Aid and clinical experience, and holding the right passionate and positive attitude to working in this unique environment; our Nightclub Medics undergo training in ;

  • Immediate or Advanced Life Support (Resus Council UK). Defibrillation. Patient assessment. Medical gases.  Airway management. Suction. Spinal immobilisation. Advanced care of medical and traumatic illnesses or injuries.
  • Patient Monitoring: All staff are trained in the basic monitoring of patients including; Respiratory & Cardiac Monitoring, Blood Pressure, Temperature, Blood Glucose and Glasgow Coma Scale.
  • Alcohol & Drug Intoxication: We maintain a positive and effective approach to dealing with alcohol & drug intoxication. Our level of care is maintained for all patients presenting with all conditions. Our expertise and experience in recreational drug use allows us to treat those involved more effectively and pro-actively, using continually researched & developed guidelines.
  • Drug Awareness: Our staff are kept fully up to date with the current drugs and batches on the market/in circulation, with constant feedback given on the make-up and ingredients of specific drugs on the market within our local area. They are fully aware of their effects, presented symptoms, risks and treatment according to local and national clinical guidelines. They undergo in depth training from local drugs support agencies in recreational drug use and work with a vast number of patients within this environment week in week out.
  • Triage: Our staff have worked in extremely busy environments and can confidently and safely triage and treat high levels of patrons.  This is followed by our judgement for the patient’s further needs; whether this be discharge home, returning to the event, to local ‘SOS Bus’ services or to A&E via taxi or ambulance. We will assist patients to their route of referral to ensure they are sent home safely with minimal risk. No patient shall leave our care alone and incapable or in an unsafe manner.

About our staff.

Our staff can work independently or as part of a team – depending on the venue’s requirements, level of clinical skill required, risk assessments, capacity etc. We will fully risk assess an event to determine the resources and staffing required to meet the needs of both yourself and your patrons.

All staff who are contracted to work on behalf of West Coast EMS are; insured and governed to their certificated skill level, PVG Scheme members, in-date with all certification and undertake all above mandatory training. Our team also undergo constant CPD training in a variety of subjects and scenarios, including constant drug updates and notices. They all have experience working in the events/nightclub industry and hold the perfect attitude and approach to dealing with all situations presented in this unique environment. We fully understand the unique approach required to work in this type of environment, hence why we provide a small and trusted team you, your staff and your patrons can rely on.