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!

Our patient and family liaison nurses provide an added layer of support for our patients...

Caring for patients involves more than just medical treatment. For many, once they leave the care of the air ambulance team and enter
a hospital or major trauma centre, their journey is just beginning. Many of them are so badly injured or critically ill that they do not recall the events during or after the incident. Others will face a long recovery process and undergo extremely difficult mental or physical challenges as a result of their injuries or illness.

Sadly, we also attend incidents in which patients do not survive and their families will often have important questions about the care that was provided to their loved one in the pre-hospital environment.

In the latter part of 2018, we appointed two very experienced intensive care nurses to work part-time as patient and family liaison nurses for DSAA. One nurse focuses on the north of our operating area and one to the south. These appointments were the first of their kind in the south west region.

Our patient and family liaison nurses build and enhance relationships with the respective hospitals, provide support to patients who have been treated by our critical care team to help make sense of their experiences, answer patients’ questions about their pre-hospital care, provide links with patient support services and other charities that are aligned with the patient’s conditions, and encourage peer-support links with other similarly injured patients.

We are delighted that so many patients and their families have already benefited from this additional layer of support. Being able to help fill in any gaps and explain how and why a patient was treated, while giving them a chance to talk everything through with our clinical team is making a big difference to so many lives.

When your life has been turned upside down by a serious illness or injury, the path ahead can be hard to comprehend. At these times, it can be invaluable to hear from those who have been on the journey you are about to take. In April 2019, we held our first peer support event at our airbase. The event was extremely inspiring and concluded with a number of our past patients showing so much enthusiasm and willingness to provide help to our patients of the future.

NEXT: Grant awarded