Support for regional charity to help save more lives

Relaunch of charity after six years

A North East charity through which doctors volunteer to work more closely with North East Ambulance Service has re-launched after being dormant for six years.

In the run up to Easter, one of the busiest weekends of the year for North East Ambulance Service, regional charity BASICS Ambulance North East (BANE) is deploying volunteer doctors who will team up with ambulance paramedics to help poorly patients ringing 999.

Formed in 1997, the charity is one of many schemes around the county associated with the British Association for Immediate Care, which provides skilled medical help at the site of an accident, medical emergency, or in transit. Immediate Care Schemes draw on a wide variety of different individuals and groups who have organised themselves to provide immediate medical care.

Instrumental in reforming BANE to improve response to cardiac arrests, trauma and admission prevention work, the new chair of the charity, Andy Thomas, works as a senior paramedic at North East Ambulance Service, having left the RAF after 18 years of service in the UK and oversees. 

He said: “This scheme provides development opportunities for junior doctors, nurses and paramedics, as well as give patients better outcomes. However, to enable us to continue with our registered charity status, we need to raise the profile of what we do to raise funds that will help us to sustain it.”

With over 70 doctors volunteering as part of the scheme, BASICS Ambulance North East will support North East Ambulance Service by providing both pre-hospital emergency care and medicine for patients suffering cardiac arrest, trauma, and severe medical emergencies.

Consultant paramedic at North East Ambulance Service, Paul Aitken-Fell, said: “Having the right skills at the scene of an emergency can make all the difference to patients.  In some situations it might save their life and in others it might mean that they can be treated at home and avoid having to go to hospital.

“In particular, at times of high demand, support like this is invaluable.”

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) covers 3,200 square miles across the North East region, serving a population of 2.7 million by answering over a million emergency 999 and NHS 111 calls every year, responding to 300,000 incidents that result in a patient being taken to hospital, treating and discharging thousands of patients with telephone advice or at home and reaching over 130,000 incidents within the national target of 8 minutes.

For more information visit: or follow on Twitter: @BASICSAmbNE.

The support BANE, visit:

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