The past six months has seen an increase in the number of patients treated, as well as ongoing training, development and outreach and some new faces join our team.

Our team continues to provide 19-hours a day coverage with two shifts per day, seven days a week. This exceptional level of reliability has meant that clinicians from the South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) know that they can request a Critical Care Team (consisting of at least a Doctor and Critical Care Practitioner) every day between 7.00am and 2.00am. This contributes substantially to the increase in patients that our team is able to reach. Since 2015, the number of patients that we have treated has increased by 100%. In the calendar year 2018/19 we have already been tasked to 1,259 incidents and treated 847 patients. 

Critical Care Delivery to Patients 

The severity of illness and injury of the patients treated by our team has also continued to increase. Recent 2018/2019 statistics show that our clinicians have provided pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia to 106 patients; that’s an increase of 115% since 2015. 39 patients were given a total of 138 units of blood components (packed red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma) to treat their life-threatening bleeding. In addition to attending patients at the roadside and in their homes, we carry out numerous inter-hospital transfers. Some patients in Dorset and Somerset need emergency treatment that is only provided in regional centres, such as Bristol, Southampton or London. Moving these critically ill and injured patients from Dorset and Somerset hospitals to these regional centres is important and time-critical work. 

Training, Team Development and Outreach 

Team training continues to be extremely valuable and is a vital part of the team’s developmentIt not only builds trust and confidence but improves communications. Several training events and simulation exercises have been organised and attended by our Clinical Team in the past six months. Many of these have taken much time to organise and the team’s enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and contribution has played a significant part in the success of these events.    

Our Outreach programme continues to grow at a fast pace with many other agencies being invited to join our extensive programme of events. Every opportunity we have to interact with our ambulance service colleagues, emergency services agencies and the general public is an opportunity to share the full extent of the capabilities of our team. Once again it builds trust and promotes teamwork between all parties; this in turn enables us to reach and treat so many more patients that might need our helpAdditional Outreach activity is now even more possible with the expansion in number of our practitioners.  

University Masters Education  

Congratulations to Claire Baker who has successfully completed her Master’s degree in Advanced Paramedic Practice (Critical Care). Claire’s dissertation focused on time-critical transfers carried out by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the clinical need of patients in the region. Her work and data have substantially increased our ability to support patients needing emergency inter-hospital transfers in Dorset and Somerset. Claire joins Michelle Walker, Paul Owen, Mark Williams and Neil Bizzell in having achieved their Master’s degrees, supported by the Charity. 

Owen Hammett, Steve Westbrook, Lauren Dyson, Ollie Zorab, Dave Thom, Pete Appleby, Stuart Cox and Matt Sawyer continue their Master’s degrees and are now in their dissertation year. We wish them continued success. 


A very warm welcome to the newest members of our team.  

Trainee Specialist Practitioners – Critical Care  

Stu Cox, Matt Sawyer, Jo Hernandez, Dave Thom and Pete Appleby are our ‘third generation’ of trainee practitioners. The recruitment process for these additional roles was extremely extensive and they are all now a key part of our Clinical Team. 

Patient and Family Liaison Clinicians 

Kirsty Casswell and Jo Petheram are our new Patient and Family Liaison Nurses. Both Kirsty and Jo are Critical Care Nurses and are passionate about supporting patients both while they are in hospital and beyond. They have been working hard to develop relationships with the critical care trauma networks, cardiac networks, rehabilitation networks, police liaison services and hospital liaison services. Both have already attended several patient visits at Henstridge and have been closely collaborating with our Communications Team, resulting in many patients receiving extra support that has not been available before. Read more about Kirsty and Jo’s role.


Dr Laura Savage is an Emergency Department Consultant working with us in a joint role with Poole General Hospital. She is also a qualified Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine Consultant and has experience working with Wales Air Ambulance. Dr Jonny Price joined our team in February 2019Jonny works as an Anaesthetic and Intensive Care Consultant in Royal United Hospital Bath and has substantial pre-hospital expertise having worked on London HEMS, among others. We are delighted to have them on board, adding to the skills of our Critical Care Team.