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£22,000 Boost for Devon Medics to Enhance Emergency Response Efforts

 The HELP Appeal via the British Association for Immediate Care is responsible for donation

Volunteer medics in Devon have secured a £22,000 grant to expand services and launch a community volunteer programme.

The HELP Appeal grant will allow BASICS Devon (the British Association for Immediate Care) to bolster its ranks, ensuring a swifter and more effective response to emergencies across the county.

Currently consisting of 14 dedicated volunteers, the charity operates round the clock, responding to emergencies in their own vehicles under blue light conditions.

Immediate Volunteer Responders - Left to Right - Front Row; Dr Simon Scott-Hayward, Dr Marc Epps, Dr Clare Bosanko, Dr Andy Smith, Back Row; Dr Angus Macdonald, Dr Simon Fairclough, Dr Alex Rowe, Dr Anthony Golding-Cook & Dr Ian Higginson

Robert Horton, Chair of BASICS Devon, said: “In the past 5 years, we've been incredibly grateful to receive over £100,000 from the generous HELP Appeal & the British Association for Immediate Care. “

“This support has empowered our lifesaving volunteers to provide immediate medical care to those in times of crisis. Through this expansion, the most rural areas will gain responders with wider experience, various clinical grades and be able to access training and education.”

The grant will enable the charity to acquire advanced equipment, provide Blue Light Driver training, and establish efficient communication systems with VHF Radios, essential for operations in remote areas. This investment underscores the commitment to enhancing immediate care services, ultimately saving lives and reducing the burden on local emergency services.

Looking ahead, BASICS Devon plans to expand its volunteer network to 30 members over the next five years. This expansion aims to ensure that patients never have to wait more than 30 minutes for a medical response, strengthening the community's resilience in handling emergencies.

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal says: “Thanks to our fundraisers, we are delighted that we can help launch this new program by enabling BASICS Devon to purchase state of the art equipment, which will undoubtedly benefit critically ill and injured patients across Devon.”

Working in close collaboration with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), BASICS Devon plays a pivotal role in supporting casualty triage and treatment during major incidents.

Centre Dr Simon Scott-Hayward, Left to Right, Dr Angus Macdonald, Dr Fred Declerck, Dr Marc Epps, Dr Lauren Weekes, Dr David Hillebrandt, Dr Tom Owens, Dr Ian Higginson & Dr Simon Fairclough

With some team members trained as Major Incident Medical Advisors, the charity is well-equipped to handle crisis situations effectively.

Tony Kemp, Chief Officer of the British Association for Immediate Care, said ‘Across the country our schemes provide voluntary pre-hospital care in support of the UK’s NHS Ambulance Services. BASICS Devon works extremely hard for its communities and we are extremely pleased to be able to support their amazing efforts by this grant. We are extremely thankful to our friends at the HELP Appeal who so generously fund these grants. ‘

Among those who have benefited from BASICS Devon's swift intervention is Barrington, who found himself in need of emergency assistance in Plymouth.

“I was so touched by these volunteers and the speed and professionalism in which they carried out their work,” he said. “At the time when BASICS Devon attended to me, I was unaware of their existence. Hopefully, this grant will enable more people to be aware of this valuable service and help raise their profile.”

As callout figures continue to rise, BASICS Devon's presence remains vital in ensuring prompt and effective emergency care across the county. With their tireless efforts, they continue to make a profound difference in the lives of those they serve, exemplifying the resilience and unity of Devon's communities.




Interview available with volunteers and patient Barrington Sowden on request - more of his story - here

Photos attached


About the HELP Appeal


●       The HELP Appeal aims to significantly increase the number of onsite hospital helipads at major trauma centres and A&E hospitals through its grant scheme which offers non-repayable grants to hospitals to help fund new helipads or upgrade existing helipads.

●       Overall it has funded 45 helipads across the country, including at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Derriford Hospital, which have seen over 27,000 landings.

●       The HELP Appeal relies solely on charitable donations and does not receive any government funding or money from the National Lottery.

●       You can follow the HELP Appeal on Twitter: @helipadHELP, Facebook or Linkedin or visit the website:

●       For further information about the HELP Appeal, please contact Corienne Kilgannon, communications director, on 07470 226063 or by emailing


About British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS)

●       The British Association for Immediate Care is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered with the Charity Commission and with Companies House.  

●       Members are drawn from a number of the health care professions, particularly medicine, nursing and paramedicine, as well as others who work or volunteer within pre-hospital care.

●       The Association provides a focus for those interested in developing their pre-hospital practice and supports this through its annual conference and a range of internationally recognised courses.

●       For Further information visit


About BASICS Devon

•                  BASICS Devon is a network of 14 emergency volunteer doctors providing immediate access to specialist medical care at the scene of an accident or illness. Making themselves available around the clock throughout the year, responding to incidents at the request of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The charity relies solely on donations.

•                  BASICS Devon doctors aim to provide a fast response to incidents in rural areas and use their extensive skills to support patient care.

•                  For further information, to donate or get involved please visit:

For further information please contact Amie Bull, Fundraising Manager T: 01752 936299 or visit:



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