Peninsula Air Services
There are 3 air services that operate across the Peninsula. They provide treatment to patients on-scene or take them to the hospital that best suits their needs, whether that is a Trauma Unit or to either Derriford Hospital or Bristol Children’s Hospitals specialist Trauma Centres.
Cornwall Air Ambulance
Cornwall Air Ambulance was the first Air Ambulance service in the UK and started flying back in 1987. They primarily cover the Duchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, however they also assist their Devon Colleagues when required. Please visit their website for more information.
Devon Air Ambulance
Devon Air Ambulance started flying in 1992 and now provides two helicopters flying daily. One Helicopter is based at Exeter Airport and the other in North Devon. Likewise the Devon Air Ambulance will assist their Cornish colleagues as needed. More information is available on their website
Bristows Search and Rescue
The national civilian Search and Rescue helicopter service contract was awarded to Bristows Group to operate on behalf of HM Coastguard from 2015 to 2026.
As part of this contract Bristow’s opened a new purpose built base at Newquay Airport on the 1st January 2016. This base like all of the 10 Search and Rescue bases are positioned close to Search and Rescue hotspots. There are two Sikorsky S-92 helicopters stationed there - one of which is always ready to fly. Visit their website for more information.
South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) provides the ambulance and pre-hospital services to the people of the south-west of England.
The Trust has responsibility for the provision of ambulance services across an area of 10,000 square miles or 20% of mainland England. The Trust covers the counties of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the former Avon area (Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire).
SWASFT provides the following range of services:
- Emergency ambulance 999 services (A&E);
- Urgent Care Services (Dorset and Gloucestershire);
- Patient Transport Services (PTS) – (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire);
- NHS 111 – (Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Dorset).
SWASFT provides the clinical teams for six air ambulances (two in Devon, one in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, one shared across Dorset and Somerset, one in Wiltshire and one based near Bristol).
BASICS South West was formed in March 2010 as an umbrella group for the Immediate Care Schemes working with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust across the Peninsula. BASICS SW are part of a larger network of Immediate Care Schemes across the UK which operate under the umbrella of the national organisation BASICS
The schemes are charitable organisations providing a network of volunteer doctors across the region with specialised training in the emergency management of trauma and medical conditions outside hospital. They respond to incidents at the request of ambulance control in their own cars, which are equipped with blue lights and sirens for those with ambulance approved driver training (and green lights for those who have not).
Most of the work is in helping casualties of road traffic collisions, especially those who are trapped and seriously injured. They are also called to give immediate medical care to people who have become critically ill through medical problems or trauma.
The doctors are available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and perform this role in addition to their "day jobs" which are predominantly in general practice, anaesthetics and emergency medicine (A&E).