Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has introduced an additional Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) car response, which is operating in addition to the helicopter-based doctor and paramedic Critical Care Team. This will help us reach more patients in need of specialist emergency care.
The CCP car, which has responded to over 54 emergencies since its launch on the 1 September, will carry at least one Specialist Paramedic in Critical Care on board every shift and is initially operating seven days a week between 8am and 6pm, covering the whole of the Hampshire region.
Each Specialist Paramedic is highly trained and able to provide enhanced treatment in support to our ambulance service clinicians. This includes administering stronger pain relief, sedation and other medicines and providing specialist assessment and interventions to give patients the very best chance of survival and recovery.
The CCP car is used as an additional resource sent to those patients who may need enhanced paramedic level care, but who do not initially require an advanced doctor-paramedic Critical Care Team response. These will include some of the higher priority 999 calls for potentially-life threatening conditions such as severe asthma, anaphylaxis, seizures or birth-related emergencies, as well as those who may be unconscious or are experiencing difficulty breathing.
The CCP car can also provide additional support to the doctor-paramedic team at complex or multi-casualty incidents and act as a first responder when closest to time-critical patients such as cardiac arrest or major trauma.
The helicopter-based Critical Care Team will continue to respond by air and road to the most serious incidents requiring the most advanced care, from 7am to 2am, seven days a week.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Paramedic Clinical Lead, Michael Bradfield, said:
“This is an important step in the development of our service as we seek to reach a broader range of patients for whom additional treatment may be beneficial. Thanks to the development in our team over a number of years, we now have a cohort of highly-experienced and qualified Specialist Paramedics who are able to utilise their skills not only as part of the doctor-paramedic team, but also to use them independently in support of other types of patients in need of specialist care.
“Having the CCP car available will also allow us to provide additional opportunities for training, mentoring and supervision within our team and working alongside our emergency service colleagues, as well as increasing our visibility and helping to improve our engagement with services in the region.”
The charity currently has three emergency response vehicles in its fleet, which are used in parallel to the helicopter or when it cannot fly due to adverse weather conditions. The CCP car will carry slightly different equipment based on the requirements of the calls it will attend.
Our teams have responded to more than 1,278 call-outs since the start of the year. Each mission costs on average £3,320.