An emergency medical care service in Cumbria has two brand new vehicles which will help it
to save more lives.
BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria has bought the two new 4×4 vehicles for use in west
Cumbria following an £87,410 donation from Sellafield Ltd.
The Volvos – a S60 estate and a XC60 SUV – will be used in Allerdale and Copeland by
doctors from the charity who provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency care and an extra
level of medical intervention not normally available until a patient reaches hospital.
“The funding to buy these vehicles will make a huge difference to our team and to patients,”
said Dr John Ferris, a BEEP doctor and an A & E consultant at West Cumberland Hospital.
“We have been attending emergencies in west Cumbria for many years, but to have two
dedicated vehicles covering the area is enormous for the charity. It means we can respond
to even more emergencies and save more lives.”
Cumbria’s team of 12 volunteer doctors are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 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 closest major trauma centres to west Cumbria are the Royal Victoria Hospital at
Newcastle and the Royal Preston Hospital – a considerable distance away – so providing
enhanced medical care at the scene of an incident can stabilise patients quicker and lead to
greatly improved outcomes.
Until now BEEP doctors in west Cumbria had used their own vehicles to reach incidents.
These had covert blue lights but people would not know they were emergency vehicles until
the lights were switched on. In contrast, the new vehicles funded by Sellafield are fully
marked as emergency response vehicles, have ‘blues and twos’ and are branded with the
BEEP Doctors’ logo.
“Potentially this means we can reach patients quicker because the vehicles are more visible
to other drivers so we can make swifter progress,” explained BEEP Doctors Cumbria chair Dr
Theo Weston MBE.
“They are also going to be more reliable than our current vehicles because they are brand
new and they have a massive boot space to carry our specialised kit, which includes
advanced monitoring equipment such as ultrasound scanners.
“The marked vehicles can also be used at the roadside for defensive parking which boosts
the safety of clinicians and patients.
“Overall, they will make it much easier to provide the vital interventions which patients
would not normally receive until they reached hospital.”
Gary McKeating, Sellafield Ltd’s Head of Community and Development, said: “The BEEP
Doctors do amazing work in our communities and we are thrilled to be able to provide
funding for the charity to purchase two new vehicles. Targeted support for services that
enable crisis care for the local community is a key strand of our social impact programme
and I’m proud that our funding will help the BEEP Doctors save even more lives across our
BEEP Doctors are looking to work with other businesses in the county who would be willing
to support the service.
To find out more about BEEP Doctors and to make a donation, go to