On behalf of the trustees and the team here at BASICS Dorset I wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.
To the SWAST crews, dispatchers and volunteers logging on tonight and tomorrow: we hope your shift passes quickly and you get some time with your loved ones. To the rest of our Emergency Services family and the staff at Dorset’s Hospitals: thank you keeping our community safe over the holidays. To our supporters and trustees: thank you for helping us help our patients here in Dorset. We’ll raise a glass for you and look forward to moving the charity forward next year. It’s been one hell of year for everyone and hopefully better times are ahead for us all in 2021. We’ll still be around to give enhanced care should the worst happen.
During this time of year it usual for everyone to pause and take stock of the 12-months just gone. For us operationally, it has been our busiest year so far. Our responder SB05 has answered over 150 callouts during the year with 100 patients attended in Dorset. November was our busiest month so far with 19 patients receiving enhanced emergency care out in the community. July was another memorable month as millions flocked to Dorset following the easing of lockdown restrictions. The local authorities declared a Major Incident due to the risk of emergency services being overwhelmed. BASICS Dorset were kept very busy attending patients along the coastline and further afield.
Since the arrival of COVID-19 in to the UK, we have had to quickly adapt our ways of working to maintain the same level of service whilst protecting our medics, NHS colleagues and patients from the risks of the pandemic. Working together with SWAST and our supporters we were able to acquire extra levels of protective equipment and develop infection control measures to answer the challenge. All this was done whilst our volunteer medics carried on their usual clinical work in the NHS hospitals.
The majority of our patients are still within the East Dorset urban area (Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch) which is home to half the county's population. We have been kept bust along the main roads to west Dorset with a few longer runs around Poole Harbour to the Purbecks. Overall we two-thirds of our patients arise from traumatic incidents (e.g. road collisions, falls) and one-third medical (e.g. cardiac arrests, seizures). In 2020 we attended 31 road traffic collisions, 30 cardiac arrests, 5 stabbings and 6 patients rescued from the sea.
We now look to the future and life in 2021. In the short-term, the UK is still in the grip of a pandemic and many long weeks of winter lie ahead. Our medics will still be on-hand to assist the NHS and our patient's in Dorset as the pressures mount. Beyond that, thanks to our very generous charity supporters we are in a good position to take BASICS Dorset forward. We have crossed the funding threshold for registration with Charities House. In autumn we appointed 3 new trustees to help us with this next step and beyond.
However you are spending the festive period please, look after each other, have a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.
Dr Katie Muscroft
Chair BASICS Dorset