Gillian Bryce, Chair of our Trustees, reflects on a busy six months. 

Looking back over previous editions of Beeline, I see that one of the recurring messages has been that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has treated more patients than ever before. That trend continues, with an increase of over 12% in the last quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year. In part, this is due to both the increase in flying hours and the improved capabilities of our aircraft. The fact that Pegasus has become affectionately referred to as “Peggy” is indicative of how important the enhanced capabilities are to the operational and clinical teams. 

Of equal value is the continuing development both in terms of numbers and skills of the Clinical Team, allowing them to deliver an extremely high standard of critical care at the roadside or in remote areas of the counties. This multi-disciplinary approach to care involving integrated teams of doctors, nurses and paramedics has been recognised as exemplary practiceThis is the result of vision, enthusiasm, professionalism and hard work by all of those involved. 

The most visible aspect of the service we provide is the bright yellow helicopter, which attracts admirers of all ages, including those who are so young they have barely learned to walk. However, as well as operating a road vehicle, we continue to support a number of injury prevention schemes and now have staff in our Patient and Family Liaison Nurses who can offer support to our patients, giving them the opportunity to reflect on their experience and help us identify any areas for improvement. 

Unfortunately, the Board of Trustees have to say goodbye to Mike Laver who has been with us for nine years. Mike has been Vice Chairman for the past four and I am personally indebted to him for his support. Having served in the RAF as a helicopter pilot, his experience and advice has been extremely valuable and we will all miss his wise counsel. He is moving back to his homeland, north of the border and we wish him all the very best for the future. Glenys Taylor has taken up the role of Vice Chair. She has been a hardworking member of the Board for several years and with her expertise in human resources, brings a valuable skill set to the table. 

would also like to report the addition of a new Trustee, Simon Jones. Simon is the Chief of Staff at Leonardo Helicopters based in Yeovil and has already impressed us with his perception and enthusiasm. 

None of the above would be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers and wonderful supporters. You are an essential part of the team. So please, keep up the good work, which enables us to help those in need of our care.