Dr Duncan Bootland has been appointed as Medical Director of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), reporting directly into KSS’s CEO, David Welch. He takes up his new role this month.

Dr Duncan Bootland, who joined KSS in 2013 with six years’ experience working in emergency medicine and intensive care, has been a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Consultant and clinical governance lead at KSS. He has extensive experience and exceptional skills in pre-hospital emergency medical care in life threatening situations and is also an Emergency Medicine Consultant and the Major Trauma Centre Clinical Lead at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and an Honorary Clinical Advisor for South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Dr Bootland succeeds Dr Malcolm Russell who is stepping down from the role after seven years in post. Dr Russell, who has worked with the life-saving charity for 13 years in total, will remain an integral part of KSS, continuing to work with their highly skilled crews and clinical management team.

David Welch, CEO, KSS said: “Duncan has a proven track record as a dedicated member of Team KSS and has shown exceptional commitment to our patients. He brings vast experience to the role and was the ideal candidate to become our new Medical Director. I would like to sincerely thank Dr Malcolm Russell for his hard work, passion and dedication to KSS.”

Dr Duncan Bootland said: “I am delighted to take up the Medical Director role at KSS, an organisation I have been immensely proud to be part of over the last seven and a half years. KSS has always been an organisation that delivers the highest quality of pre-hospital care and this is an amazing opportunity for me to build on the work of Dr Malcolm Russell.”

Professor Andrew Rhodes, Trustee and Chair of KSS’ Clinical Governance and Service Delivery Committee said: “Duncan’s exceptional expertise as a HEMS consultant combined with his experience from working in the NHS as an Emergency Medical Consultant and Major Trauma Centre Clinical Lead enables KSS to offer world-leading emergency care. His dual role in working for KSS and the NHS, both at senior levels, is a great example of the mutually beneficial knowledge and skills transfer between the voluntary sector and the NHS.”

Helen Bowcock, Chair of the Board of Trustees said: “Duncan brings impressive knowledge, compassion and dedication to this important role. On behalf of the Trustees I would like to congratulate him on his appointment and to thank Dr Malcolm Russell for his medical leadership over many years.”

Operating out of Redhill Aerodrome and headquartered in Rochester, KSS provides world-leading pre-hospital emergency care whenever and wherever required to save lives and to enable the best possible patient outcomes. Covering Kent, Surrey and Sussex, KSS serves a population of 4.8 million plus those who travel through the area – one of the busiest in the UK. Its crews of pilots, doctors and paramedics fly over 2,500 missions a year.

KSS, which in 2020 celebrates its 30th year, was the first (and is currently the only) 24/7 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the country. In March 2020 KSS became the first HEMS to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in all five of its inspection key lines of enquiry:  safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In September 2020 KSS won the Charity Times Charity of the Year Award (income more than £10M).

In April 2020, KSS launched its Coronavirus Emergency Appeal. Thanks to generous support from the local community and a Government grant of £140,000, the charity has raised over £1.9M, enabling it to remain fully operational at all times throughout the pandemic. KSS must raise a further £1M to ensure it can continue to save lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week.