Friday, 31 October 2014

Air Ambulance's Innovation Award

Photo: Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Chief Executive Adrian Bell


Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has been named as one of the Health Service Journal’s Top 50 Innovators in healthcare for 2014 for the charity’s development of its full 24 hour HEMS operation.


The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance began operating its 24/7 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in September 2013 and is the only air ambulance operator in the country to provide such a service. The development of the service from 12 to 24 hours took the charity’s team, lead by Adrian, nearly three years to plan and implement. The air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic team deliver enhanced pre-hospital care to seriously ill or injured patients. In the first year of its night operations crews have attended over 430 patients as well as about 1,400 patients by day.


Adrian Bell said: “My name being on this list is actually due recognition of what everyone, and I include all our supporters and volunteers as well as staff, both operational and charity, have achieved in delivering to the community a service all our patients so desperately need.”


Readers of the Health Service Journal were invited to name those they felt should be considered by a panel of respected judges for this prestigious award and last night (Thursday) HSJ announced it’s 2014 list of the most innovative people in Healthcare. Alistair McLellan, editor of HSJ made the announcement at a reception at the Royal College of Physicians attended by the 50 innovators and guests.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Kelsey's skydive for air ambulance

Kelsey pictured during her skydive at Headcorn

A Gravesend teenager who jumped out of an aeroplane in a sponsored skydive for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, has raised almost £1,500 for the life-saving charity.

Mayfield Grammar School pupil Kelsey Barham took the plunge from 13,000ft at Headcorn Aerodrome earlier this month (October 4th).

She completed the challenge in memory of her uncle Peter Edgeler who sadly died in a motorbike accident 15 years ago.

In total, she raised £1,454 for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

Kelsey, 16, visited the helicopter base at Marden yesterday (Monday) to present her cheque to the charity.

She said: “The skydive was such a great experience, words can’t even describe how much of an adrenalin rush it was.

“The best bit was when I was in freefall but the worst bit was my ears popping. I’m now planning to do a wing walk when I’m 18.”

If you would like to donate to the Kelsey’s giving page click here:


Monday, 13 October 2014

Survivor reunited with life-saver

Photo: Bob Morgans and Dr Simon Wood

A golfer who survived a cardiac arrest has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor who helped save his life.

Retired salesman Bob Morgans, 73, was playing at Villa Golf Club in Blackham when he suddenly collapsed at the seventh hole after scoring a birdie.

His friend Roy Wright battled to save him by carrying out chest compressions for about 10 minutes before paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) arrived.

The ambulance crew made several attempts to defibrillate Bob’s heart before the air ambulance reached the scene.

When the helicopter arrived, the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) doctor and paramedic worked with the SECAmb team to successfully resuscitate Bob including the use of advanced airway skills. He was then transferred to a specialist coronary unit and has since made an excellent recovery.

The grandfather-of-five has now met Dr Simon Wood for the first time since his cardiac arrest last August – on the day of his 42nd wedding anniversary.

He said: “It’s quite remarkable what they did, without any doubt, because they went to extreme lengths to get me back. 

“It was quite emotional meeting Simon because he found me in a crumpled state and I didn’t know him from Adam.

“I asked him how close to death I was and he said very close and that I was as good as gone. When the nurses at the hospital started calling me the miracle man, now I understand what they were talking about.

“Everyone I have spoken to in the medical fraternity says they are delighted but very surprised that I have recovered, and so quickly. When I went to see my GP for the first time since it happened. he was beyond words.”

It took air ambulance pilots, Captain John Wade and First Officer Dan Vickers just four minutes to get to Bob before landing on the golf course.

Dr Wood and his colleagues Dr Magnus Nelson and paramedic Ben Macauley then carried on resuscitating Bob with SECAmb paramedics and managed to get his heart beating again after about 40 minutes.

They put him into an induced coma before cooling him to help preserve his brain function. He was then flown to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford in just 24 minutes - a journey that could have taken almost an hour by road.

Bob spent a total of six weeks in hospital before he was allowed home and has since had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass 13 years ago.

Dr Wood said: “It was fantastic to see Bob up and walking around because he has been given a second lease of life. For me personally, it was quite an amazing experience because he is very lucky to still be alive.”

In June, Bob held a golf day at Villa Golf Club and raised more than £600 for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

The helicopter is often called to cardiac arrests on the golf course and Bob is backing former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher’s campaign to kit clubs throughout the UK with defibrillators.

Gallacher, 65, suffered a cardiac arrest last year as he was about to give an after-dinner speech but is expected to make a full recovery.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to

Monday, 6 October 2014

Rotary president in Merman swimathon

Photo: L-R Marika and Dave Cavell, and Whitstable Rotary Club Vocational chairman Kevin Fielding pictured on Whitstable seafront

The president of Whitstable Rotary Club is preparing for a charity swimathon next month in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance – dressed as a Merman.

Dave Cavell will take the plunge at the town’s Harbour Street pool on November 12th for the club’s Charity of the Year.

The retired police officer is planning to swim non-stop for an hour with spectators nominating him to do a backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly stroke for every fifth length.

He will be joined by fellow Rotary members and the pool’s aqua aerobics class who will be dressed as South Sea Island girls, complete with grass skirts.

Dave, 71, said: “I’m a good swimmer but sponsored swims have been done before and can be quite boring to watch.

“Thinking about it, I decided to do a swim with a difference using only my arms with my legs strapped together.

“So I decided to encase them in a fish tail and become a Merman but I can’t be a mermaid because I’m not shaving off my beard of 40 years, not even for this.”

Dave is hoping to raise £500 and can be sponsored at

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Record success for Air Ambulance bike ride

Nearly 300 riders got on their bikes on Sunday (September 28th) for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s annual Double 100 Cycle Challenge.

The 100-mile and 100km circular rides started and finished at the life-saving charity’s helicopter bases at Marden in Kent and Redhill in Surrey.

The routes passed through all counties covered by the air ambulance including the following towns and villages: Tunbridge Wells, Paddock Wood, Lamberhurst, Wadhurst, Crowborough, Hartfield, Forest Row, Turners Hill, Horley and Lingfield.

The first rider to complete the 100-mile route at Marden was Scott Sargent of main sponsors Fidelity Worldwide Investment while the first 100km finisher was Jonathan Miller of Whitehead Monckton Solicitors.

Other corporate teams who entered the event were Aylesford-based James Villas Holidays and Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents.

Peter Ellis, from East Grinstead, Jeremy Lowe and Ian Weston, both from Polegate, were the first to complete the 100-miler at Redhill and Simon Tack, from Shepperton, was the first 100km finisher.

Organiser Julie Clare, of Air Ambulance Corporate Relations, said: “This year’s Double 100 was our biggest and best so far with a record number of entrants.

“We would like to thank all 280 riders who took part, and of course our sponsors, who helped make it a great success for the charity.”

Air Ambulance doctors, paramedics, staff and trustees were among the riders who tackled a total hill climb of 6,404ft.

And family and friends cheered as the riders finally crossed the finish line at the end of their epic journey, some of them 12 hours after they started.

Now in its fourth year, the Double 100 was also sponsored by Howard Cundey and supported by Halfords, the Asda Foundation, Warburtons and Southern Water.

Next year’s event will celebrate the air ambulance’s 25th anniversary and may include a 25-mile circuit for families.

To view our photos on Flickr please click here:

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to