Technology pioneered by a specialist emergency doctor working for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is playing a critical role in the UK’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

GoodSAM, co-founded by Mark Wilson, Professor of Brain Injury at Imperial College Heathcare NHS Trust and an Emeritus Doctor at KSS, has enabled the recruitment of over 750,000 volunteers for the NHS, connecting those in need with those who can help across communities throughout the UK.

In recognition of the significant contribution made by GoodSAM, Professor Mark Wilson and GoodSAM co-founder Ali Ghorbangholi both received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020. On average, GoodSAM now deploys 10 checked volunteers every minute to support the NHS in its Covid-19 response.

Launched in 2013, the GoodSAM platform was originally designed to radically change the response to cardiac arrest, alerting CPR-trained volunteers to attend nearby cardiac arrests while an ambulance is en-route, making possible earlier CPR and defibrillation and helping to save lives.

Since this time, GoodSAM’s geo-locating capability has been successfully applied to many emergency requirements, including the use of instant video in assessing casualties at incident scenes, which was pioneered in partnership with KSS and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) in 2019.

Most recently, GoodSAM has been adopted by the NHS in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service to crowdsource Volunteer Responders. Within the first 48 hours, 750,000 people had signed up to be volunteers, with 4,000 successful registrations per second at the peak.

David Welch, CEO of KSS, said: “Many congratulations to Mark Wilson, whose outstanding work developing GoodSAM has undoubtedly contributed to saving many lives.”

“The volunteer response to the Coronavirus pandemic has been extraordinary, and the use of GoodSAM to facilitate volunteering is inspiring. As a registered charity, KSS could not deliver its life-saving service without the support of our wonderful volunteers who help us in so many different ways. We know and appreciate the true value of volunteering and are incredibly thankful.”

Professor Mark Wilson OBE said: “With 1.5 million vulnerable people in isolation here in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic – and even more who fall into the highly at-risk category – when we were approached by the NHS to help with this we of course said yes.”

“The coronavirus crisis is unique to anything we’ve ever supported before.  There is constant, dynamic change around who needs help and who is able to give help and so we’re always adapting. In this kind of situation, everything needs to be highly adaptable in order to provide help for the next immediate need.”

“GoodSAM is now effectively the world’s largest Computer Aided Dispatch system, bigger than Uber and Deliveroo combined in the UK.  I am delighted to have received this Honour and thank everyone at GoodSAM for their continuing efforts to ensure that effective support can be delivered exactly where it is needed.”

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