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Consultant volunteers on Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
A BASINGSTOKE hospital consultant, who spends her working life saving lives, devotes much of her spare time to doing exactly the same.
Dr Louisa Chan volunteers for BASICS Hampshire and as a physician for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA), and is often on call to attend emergencies even when she is not working for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The consultant, who works in both emergency medicine and intensive care at the hospital, in Aldermaston Road, has been involved with pre-hospital care since 2003 when she worked with the Physician Response Unit at the Royal London Hospital.
Since then she has become prolific in her work outside the hospital and has been abroad on fact-finding missions, investigating international pre-hospital response.
She said: “It does take up a lot of my time but it’s something I really enjoy doing. I don’t know how many hours on average I spend volunteering. In a lot of cases, it is extremely important to reach someone straight away and that’s where BASICS and the air ambulance can come in.”
BASICS Hampshire supports the ambulance service with specialist medical help during serious and major incidents.
The team is made up of 30 doctors and one nurse who all provide their time on a voluntary, unpaid basis and all equipment and training is paid for by fundraising.
Dr Chan has been flying in air ambulances for several years, and said she was delighted that, as of last October, HIOWAA now has a policy of having a doctor on board a helicopter on all shifts in the region.
She said: “A patient has a better chance of surviving on the way to hospital if they have seen emergency doctor as soon as possible. It’s a real step forward.”