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BASICS Devon a network of volunteer immediate care doctors has been working hard to create their strategy for the next 5 years. This is a significant milestone for the local lifesaving charity, that is completely voluntary led and a really exciting time for their Devon community.

Dr Simon Scott-Hayward

Dr Simon Scott-Hayward, Chair for the past 8 years said, “This year we mark the fantastic achievement of the charity which turns 30 years old. At the heart of our charity are our amazing volunteers who have been providing immediate care to the people of Devon, some of them for all of this time. Together with the board of Trustees, I am immensely proud of our charity and its volunteers. As we reflect on this birthday year, we celebrate the huge achievements and also look forward to how we can develop the charity to face the current and future pressures. We share in the document our ambitious plan for the next 5 years which aims to build on the original charity objectives, our renewed vision, mission, and organisational values.”

BASICS Devon strives to be the county’s leading volunteer pre-hospital immediate care charity, improve patient outcomes, relieve suffering and save lives.

Through a networked team of volunteers, they aim to improve patient outcomes and save lives through the delivery of emergency care and education across Devon and surrounding areas.

The charities key priorities will be:

· To respond to medical & trauma emergencies

· To provide education to their volunteers and to their communities

· To generate funds to achieve their vision

There are currently 14 volunteer doctors in the BASICS Devon team and the responders help save lives and ease pain and suffering. They are all senior NHS doctors from a variety of clinical specialties, between them they have over 200 years of NHS experience. An extraordinary level of expertise. The team have specialist training in pre-hospital medical care. Responding in their own vehicles, which are equipped and insured to respond under blue light emergency conditions. The charity also has their own rapid 4 x 4 response vehicle to help reach the vulnerable and isolated across Devon, especially vital to reach agricultural incidents and to navigate across the moors.

Over the last few years, the charity has developed greatly with the dedication and pure ambition of the volunteers on the frontline and the board of Trustees. Relying solely on donations to fully equip and train their team. Additional volunteer responders have been recruited in North and West Devon and Plymouth, but there are still far more beneficiaries to reach across the vast county.

With the health service in such demand, BASICS Devon doctors can help treat patients before they reach the hospital. They give people immediate access to specialist pre hospital emergency medical care at the scene. People are struggling to receive immediate medical care in an emergency across Devon, especially in the rural, isolated parts of the county such as North Devon that are over an hour's drive from their nearest hospital.

The doctors can administer urgent drugs to the terminally ill, in the community. They are the only voluntary service that offer this type of specialist pre hospital medical care with higher clinical input, resulting in preventing hospital, GP admissions and readmissions.

BASICS Devon will build on their foundations to impact their communities further by investing in the charity to create a sustainable, more diverse and healthy organisation.

They have created a Community Volunteer Programme inclusive of all medical professionals and members of their communities. The programme consists of;

Enhanced Medical Responders

Doctors and other enhanced skilled clinicians who voluntarily respond to support patients in their community, being able to offer senior decision making and additional skills beyond what is delivered by the frontline paramedics

Community Clinical Volunteers

Registered Healthcare Practitioners, Nurse, Paramedic or Doctor who respond to provide immediate medical care in their local community, delivering care at a similar level to a front like paramedic.

Non-Medical Responder

Members of the community, who through training and support will be able to mobilise to their neighbours in immediate medical need. The charity is ambition to establish and manage this new role providing even further expansion of the BASICS responder coverage

BASICS Devon Volunteers

By expanding their network of volunteers, it will improve patient outcomes and help ensure patients who need immediate medical treatment don't wait more than 30 minutes for a response. BASICS Devon volunteers will help share knowledge and skills between voluntary organisations and maximise joint opportunities. This will empower communities to step in ahead of medical support, working hard to ensure every Devon town and village has the opportunity to learn lifesaving skills.

In 2022 there were 12 voluntary training and education sessions including subjects such as, case reviews, scenario training with the police, Dartmoor search and rescue, airway skill sessions, paediatric intubation and procedural sedation. Some sessions included external medical and emergency service professionals as well as BASICS Devon volunteers.

The BASICS Annual Pre-Hospital Care Conference also took place with 11 BASICS Devon volunteers able to attend.

The whole scheme attended 419 callouts, 112 at night, first on scene at 39%. Emergencies include agricultural accidents, strokes, mental health, paediatric/neonatal, stabbings, shootings, fires, drownings, electrocutions.

Since January the doctors have attended 263 callouts, 76 of which were at night, and they arrived first on the scene at 30% of them.

To maximise their impact and help transform the charity over the next 5 years BASICS Devon need to generate income. They will diversify their fundraising and communications, to raise much needed funds. They will demonstrate how they help the people of Devon and the impact their projects make in their local communities. Funding will help sustain the voluntary service, create a strong infrastructure, allowing an increase in resources to support the current charity activities on the frontline, as well as provide provisions for the charity’s internal operations.

Will Warrender, Chief Executive, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to continue working with BASICS Devon as we jointly deliver emergency care to the people of Devon. This ambitious five-year strategy aligns with our Trust goals and I’m sure will ensure the charity continues growing from strength to strength as we work together to save more lives across the county.”

Jubilee Medal Presentation 2022. Left to right; Dr Clare Bosanko, Dr Anthony Golding-Cook, Dr Simon Scott-Hayward, Treasurer & Resucitation Officer Glenda Cooper, Dr Marc Epps, South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Will Warrender & Dr Ian Higginson

You can read the full strategy to find out more by visiting

To get in touch with the team at BASICS Devon call 01752 936299 or email or visit



Photos available

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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