With our patients spread widely across the two counties and limited road networks in place, we decided to create Patient and Family Liaison Clinician roles where one would focus on the north and one on the south.  

Their aims are to 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 life experiences, answer patients’ questions about their pre-hospital careprovide 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. This innovative approach is a new development within the South West region.

Meet our nurses

Jo has been nursing in the Wessex area for 12 years. Her career started in Poole Emergency Department where she worked for three years in the fast-paced acute environment. From there she moved to Southampton Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) in 2010. There, her job involved caring for critically ill patients and their families; supporting families through some of their darkest times, along with sharing in celebration of success against all odds. While Jo remains working at Southampton, she will spend half of her time working alongside Kirsty, providing support to families and patients who have been cared for by the DSAA Critical Care Team.
Kirsty has 11 years of clinical nursing experience within the Emergency and Critical Care sector. She has worked in a variety of hospitals including Bristol Royal Infirmary, Yeovil Hospital and Dorset County Hospital. Over the years, Kirsty has followed many patients through their critical care and rehabilitation journey. She feels very privileged to have been appointed in this new role alongside Jo. After her first few months, Kirsty looks back at her and Jo's time with DSAA so far.
Chloe nurse Chloe started her nursing career working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, the regional specialist for major trauma. She has always felt conscious about the emotional and psychological recovery of patients and their families both in ICU and following discharge. This prompted a career move to the Royal United Hospital in Bath within the Critical Care Outreach team. Within this role, she would follow up with patients discharged from ICU and support them and their families in understanding their experience as well as support their physical and emotional recovery. The one-to-one aspect of care in both roles has allowed her to work closely with patients & families, strengthening her ability to establish and maintain relationships in highly emotive and at times unpredictable environments. Chloe feels very privileged to be given the opportunity to bring her experience to the team.
Sam Rutherford Patient and Family Liaison Nurse

Sam began her career in 1996 after completing training as a paediatric nurse in Taunton. She was involved in establishing the children’s homecare team, supporting children who had complex needs and their families, to live at home and attend school. Following that, she moved to Cornwall and worked as a Diana Nurse (a charity supporting children who were life-limited and providing end-of-life care and support). Sam then moved into strategic management, as a commissioner for children’s services, working to establish new services and evaluate provisions provided by the NHS. In 2010, Sam moved overseas and worked with expatriate families within a health and education setting, establishing new services. In 2020, Sam returned to the Dorset/Somerset area to assist with the COVID vaccination programme and worked within a GP surgery. Sam continues to work in a GP surgery one day a week, whilst providing support to patients and families.

Gabi Patient and Family Liaison Nurse

Gabrielle (Gabi) is an experienced critical care nurse within Dorset. She has nursed adults and children for 10 years in varied environments including A&E, medical and surgical wards. She currently works in intensive care and will be splitting her time between Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and the hospital. Within her current role, she often transfers patients, which enables Gabrielle to understand patients’ and relatives’ journeys.

Can we help?

If you or a loved one has needed the help of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and you wish to contact our Patient and Family Liaison Service, please email: [email protected]

If you are a patient, relative or bystander who has been involved or witnessed an incident that the DSAA team attended, the information and resources on our Patient and Family Liaison service page may be helpful to you.