BEEP Doctors will be helping to keep Cumbrians safe throughout the festive and New Year period

A team of 12 dedicated volunteer doctors will be on call right across the festive and New
Year period to keep residents safe and potentially save lives.

So far during 2022, the BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria charity has attended 245 incidents
across the county and members have completed more than 1,000 volunteering hours.
Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency care and an extra level
of medical intervention not normally available until a patient reaches hospital.

They work closely with the police and fire services, North West Ambulance Service, Great
North Air Ambulance Service and North West Air Ambulance.

At incidents BEEP Doctors can carry out some surgical procedures, such as inserting chest
drains; some can perform pre-hospital anaesthetics; and all are able to administer drugs
that most road crew paramedics cannot, such as ketamine/fentanyl to give pain relief and
allow fracture manipulation.

Many of the emergencies they attend are road traffic collisions, as well as incidents
involving farms, pushbikes, horses and water.

The doctors are a combination of GPs, consultants in emergency and pre-hospital medicine,
anaesthetic and intensive care.
One of the team is Dr Amit Paik, 36, a GP in Carlisle, who also has a surgical background and
joined BEEP Doctors five years ago.

“During my training years as a registrar I was doing some work in A & E and saw someone I had not seen before come into the resuscitation room with a sick patient,” said Dr Paik. “It was Dr Theo Weston, chair of BEEP Doctors. I spoke to some of the consultants and they told me about BEEP Doctors and suggested I had a talk with them.

“I went to some of their training meetings and learned about their work. What tipped it for
me to join was the dedication they were showing and the real opportunity to utilise my skills
to give something back to the community.”

Dr Paik said working as a BEEP Doctor was very different to working in a hospital
environment, where there were lots of people around when dealing with an emergency.
“Outside you have fantastic support from the ambulance service but you often end up
having to adapt very quickly to an infinite number of variables.

“I build my BEEP Doctors’ work around times I am not at the surgery so often it can be in the
evening, at night or during the weekend daytime hours. Invariably a call seems to come
through at dinner time or during The Great British Bake Off!”

He said his feelings when taking a call asking him to attend an emergency involved
trepidation and a sense of anxiety. “But ultimately you listen to what is being said, get your
belongings together and head in the car straight to the incident.”

Dr Paik said one of the best things about being a BEEP Doctor was the ability to attend and
support the ambulance service at emergencies in the local community. “You can get called
to some big jobs and later you can reflect that you did your best to support the individuals in
need,” he said.

“Our organisation had a really open and supportive culture and if anyone has a difficult job
there is always a follow-up call from a couple of your colleagues to ask how it went and how
you are feeling.

“Also if you are at an incident and need a second head to bounce a situation off there are
members of the BEEP Doctors you can call on to get their input. It reduces the isolation you
can sometimes have on your own, knowing there are people you can call on for advice if you
need it.”

The Beep Doctors are not funded by the NHS – they are entirely dependent on the kind
donations of the general public and funders. To find out more about BEEP Doctors and to
make a donation, go to www.beepdoctors.co.uk


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