More advanced medical provision for Peterborough

Photo captions (from left to right and attached):

Look out for more Magpas Air Ambulance rapid response vehicles in Peterborough  

Advanced Paramedic Dan Read

Peterborough’s local air ambulance charity, Magpas Air Ambulance, has served the area for many years. The charity’s team of doctors and critical care paramedics are most frequently called to patients in life-threatening emergencies in Cambridgeshire—and they have responded to over 190 emergencies in Peterborough and surrounding villages this year so far.

Magpas Air Ambulance is fortunate to have some extremely experienced critical care paramedics in its cohort, who have served the charity for over a decade and have extensive experience in emergency care. Now, four of these clinicians have taken on new roles within the East of England Ambulance Service as Advanced Paramedics in Critical Care. This exciting new development, working in partnership with Magpas Air Ambulance, enables these advanced paramedics to not only work as part of a doctor and paramedic team flying on the air ambulance, but also provide critical care working alone on a rapid response vehicle. This vehicle is predominantly based in Peterborough, giving the city and surrounding areas dedicated and rapid access to advanced medical care.

Advanced Paramedic Dan Read, who is one of the clinicians to provide this new service, explains “When that emergency call comes in, every second counts. So now we are based in the centre of Peterborough, the advanced paramedic team can reach patients who need critical care, even quicker.”

Dan continues, “Our primary function is to provide care that exceeds the capability of a standard ambulance but might not warrant a full air ambulance team; leaving them available for the highest acuity jobs. For example, we can provide a sedation to rescue a patient with very painful injuries from a car involved in an accident. We use a very strong analgesic and sedative drug—which makes an enormous difference to patients—changing what might have been a very frightening and painful experience to a much more comfortable one, that they have no recollection of afterwards. On the whole, the service we provide is not dissimilar to that provided by the Magpas Air Ambulance team, however there are a couple of procedures we can’t perform alone. For example, anaesthetising people is a high risk, complex procedure that requires two people to ensure safety. We wouldn’t undertake this procedure alone, but we can prepare a patient and all the equipment ready for the Magpas Air Ambulance team’s arrival. We have already done this a number of times since the new service started, enabling the team to provide critical care to the sickest of patients even quicker. Using the same kit and operating procedures means that we can work together seamlessly.”

The advanced paramedic team have already spent over 850 hours providing this service, since it began on 3rd September. In that time, they’ve most often being called to medical incidents, traumatic injuries and road traffic collisions—and their average response time was just 14 minutes, with 43% of patients being reached in under 10 minutes.

It is the aspiration of the East of England Ambulance Service to recruit more Advanced Paramedics in Critical Care around the East of England, but Magpas Air Ambulance is the first air ambulance charity to work collaboratively with the ambulance service to deliver this new resource.

Reflecting on this time so far, Dan explains “In our relatively brief time providing this new service, I’ve already treated patients where I know I’ve made a critical difference. A couple of cardiac arrest patients come to mind specifically. One of whom I paced; an intervention where we use a defibrillator to provide ongoing electrical stimulation to a patient’s heart when it is not beating fast enough. This meant the patient was able to survive long enough to arrive in a cardiac unit where a permanent pacemaker was inserted surgically. On that particular case I ended up finishing five hours late making my 12.5 hour shift into a 17.5 hour shift! Another time, I provided a sedation for a patient who had been resuscitated from their cardiac arrest. This meant I was able to give the patient an even better chance of making a good recovery by ensuring there was enough oxygen delivered to the brain—a common occurrence after a cardiac arrest.

“This was only made possible by the partnership working of Magpas Air Ambulance and the East of England Ambulance Service. I’m incredibly grateful for the enormous support Magpas Air Ambulance has shown us. The investment in us as advanced paramedics—and this new service we’re able to provide—will help the charity continue to save lives in Peterborough and surrounding communities.”

Tim Daniels, East of England Ambulance NHS Trust Air Operations Manager, explains “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Magpas Air Ambulance and to expand upon the vital pre-hospital medical services needed across the region for our most severely unwell and injured patients.

“This collaborative approach allows us to combine the strengths of both organisations to support our Advanced Paramedics in Critical Care.”