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Wiltshire Air Ambulance enhances care with additional on-board doctors

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has enhanced its clinical delivery by increasing the number of pre-hospital consultant (doctors) shifts on its rota.

The charity’s aircrew will be strengthened by three hospital doctors initially, some of whom had previously offered themselves for ad-hoc voluntary shifts for a number of years.

The doctors – Maria Smith, Rosie Furse and Reuben Cooper – will continue to bring their valuable skills and experience to enhance our lifesaving service. A fourth doctor, Beth Barton, will be joining early in 2022.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance air operations officer Ben Abbott says: “I am very excited about the doctors becoming part of our clinical model at Wiltshire Air Ambulance and look forward to the many benefits it will bring our charity and patients.

“The doctors offer consultant level experience and care to the critically unwell patients we treat as a service, elevating our delivery further than ever before.

“We will be able to anaesthetise critical patients to protect the airway, manage ventilation and provide neurological protection. This allows us to convey certain patients direct to specialist hospitals whereas previously in some instances we may have had to go to the nearest hospital for them to be stabilised first.

“The doctors are also able to prescribe a whole range of medication to treat a wider scope of conditions without restrictions and have additional analgesic options such as fentanyl and intranasal pain relief for children.”

He added: “In addition to the patient-facing benefits, they offer senior level training to the team of critical care paramedics and access to hospital-based training opportunities as well.”

The enhancement of Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s clinical delivery formed part of the charity’s new three-year strategy, launched earlier this year.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance also announced its income target has risen from £3.75 million a year to £4 million from the 2021-22 financial year onwards.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance director of income generation and communications Barbara Gray said: “This is another important milestone for Wiltshire Air Ambulance as we continue to enhance our lifesaving service for the people of Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas.”

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