A charity which carries out life-saving emergency medical care is set to expand its service across Cumbria.
BEEP Doctors was set up in 1994 with three doctors to cover a 15-mile radius around Penrith.
It has also launched a campaign to raise £145,000 to buy lifesaving monitors.
Today, there are 16 volunteer doctors on the team, coming from both general practice and emergency medicine backgrounds, who bring their knowledge and skills to complement Cumbria’s fantastic paramedic colleagues.
The new additions to the team will further bolster support for BEEP doctors already based around Carlisle and Penrith.
Dr Theo Weston, founder of BEEP Doctors, said: “We’re really excited to welcome all our new doctors on board, but particularly those based in South Cumbria, which means we have a presence in that area for the first time.
“This significantly increases the range in which we can provide enhanced pre-hospital care to the sickest patients across our region, from road traffic accidents through to life-threatening medical episodes.
“By supporting our ambulance colleagues, we can significantly increase the chance of survival to our patients.”
The doctors are all unpaid and are on call 24/7 – even during the pandemic, when many of them have been working in hospitals and the local community.
BEEP Doctors are able to treat the sickest patients on the roadside, in their homes or at work, providing care and intervention previously only available once a patient reaches hospital.
They attend serious incidents in the county including road traffic collisions, farming accidents or other life-threatening medical emergencies, as well as major Incidents.
Covering the south of the county are Dr Douglas Davies and Dr Chris Moss.
Douglas is an anaesthetic and intensive care doctor based in South Cumbria and North Lancashire.
Doug also holds roles on the committee for BASICS North West overseeing clinical governance and training for BASICS Doctors in the region.
Chris works in emergency medicine with a subspecialist interest in pre-hospital and mountain medicine.
He lives in Kendal but has also spend significant amounts of time traveling and working out to sea on the UK’s largest cruise ships.
The charity continues to grow, with more volunteer doctors and a greater reach across Cumbria.
But to sustain this growth and coverage, with no funding from the NHS, the team need support from volunteers and fundraisers to help raise money to provide the doctors with lifesaving medical and personal protective equipment.
Without the usual fundraising initiatives due to the COVID pandemic and a growing team, the need is greater than ever.
Theo added: “Our fundraising efforts have been blighted in 2020, so like all charities we are looking at ways we can generate extra income to support our life saving work going forward.
“We’re kicking off 2021 with a new campaign to drive our fundraising forward and look to raise £145,000 for new lifesaving monitors to equip all our volunteer doctors and give more patients the chance of survival.”