20 Years By Your Side

For the last 20 years we have been by the side of people across Dorset and Somerset and you have been with us all the way. We have been tasked to thousands of missions and have helped to save so many lives. During this time, our service has been able to improve and enhance beyond recognition; none of this would have been possible without your support!

The need for our service is rising year on year; we must make sure we continue to be there for the next 20 years and beyond. Your support is vital; we simply can’t do this without you!

We would love you to join us today and support our '20 Years By Your Side' Campaign!

Your donations and brilliant fundraising really do make a difference to patients' lives, thank you!

2016 was most definitely a busy and significant year as we made the transition to providing a full critical care service for every mission...

While our previous twin-paramedic model enabled us to provide fast and effective care for our patients, the critical care model enables
us to deliver a more enhanced service with the ability to administer drugs (including pre-hospital anaesthetics), perform surgical procedures and give organ support to critically ill patients, both at the scene and en-route to hospital.

In June, we announced a collaboration with Dorset County Hospital, Devon Freewheelers, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and the Henry Surtees Foundation, which resulted in patients being able to receive blood components at the scene of an incident. While, to the lay person, the decision to carry blood in the air ambulance seems very straightforward, it takes an enormous amount of careful consideration, detailed planning by a number of organisations and the funds in place to make it happen.

Following months of research, the charity’s critical care team worked extremely hard to identify the best way to deliver, implement and fund the project. We were grateful to receive significant financial assistance from the Henry Surtees Foundation, which covered both the
set-up costs of the blood service and the leasing costs of a Vauxhall Mokka 4x4 driven by the Devon Freewheelers (a charity that delivers the blood to our team).

In October, we officially opened a new clinical training facility, a day/night aviation planning facility, suitable technical storage space and improved crew rest facilities at our Henstridge airbase. The 50-seat training facility enables the whole team to come together for in-house training, governance meetings and case reviews, as well as being used for outreach training with student paramedics, doctors, nurses and other visitors. The formal briefing facility would become an absolute requirement as we moved into operating at night.

Funding for the project was provided by the Association of Air Ambulances Charity (now Air Ambulances UK) after George Osborne, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, allocated £5 million from the banking fines fund (LIBOR) to be distributed to the UK’s air ambulances for major projects. DSAA received a gift of £250,000.

NEXT: Key partnerships with the NHS