We have an outstanding 48-strong team, who are committed to providing an exceptional level of pre-hospital care to patients across the North West. Our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) team is highly skilled and experienced – the medical interventions they provide at scene are of the same standard that a patient would receive in hospital. By bringing the hospital to the patient, we can give them the best chance of survival.
Leading the team
Andy is our Medical Director. He joined the charity in 2017, and his role is to provide leadership to the whole of the clinical team.
Andy trained at both St Andrew’s and Manchester universities before working in a number of hospitals across the North West, including Blackpool and Manchester. In 2006, he worked for the London Air Ambulance Charity after completing specialist training in emergency medicine. In 2007, he was appointed Consultant in emergency medicine for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He was also appointed as Associate Medical Director and subsequently Deputy Medical Director for the North West Ambulance Service – a key partner of the North West Air Ambulance Charity.
Andy was the first-ever doctor to be employed to work on our aircraft back in 2003, flying on Helimed 08, so has grown up with us! He is slightly older than NWAA though…
Steve joined the charity in 2015 as one of our bank HEMS Paramedics and took up his current role as our Consultant HEMS Paramedic in 2018. Steve is the professional lead for the HEMS Critical Care Paramedic and HEMS Paramedic team and is responsible for clinical governance and assurance across the service. Steve undertakes weekly clinical shifts as part of our air ambulance crew, flying alongside both our doctors and paramedics to provide high-quality care to our patients.
Steve joined the regional ambulance service in 2000 and has been a registered paramedic since 2003. He is currently the Consultant Paramedic within the Medical Directorate at the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust – a role which he undertakes alongside his role with the North West Air Ambulance Charity.
image of andy duncan
Andy is our Lead HEMS Paramedic. He joined the charity in 2013, and his role is to look after the clinical and operational performance of our HEMS Paramedics as well as responding and looking after patients alongside his colleagues.
Andy joined the North West Ambulance Service in 2004 (formerly known as Lancashire Ambulance Service) and trained to be a paramedic before joining the North West Air Ambulance Charity.
In addition to his role here, Andy is a reservist with the RAF medical reserves and has the potential to be deployed on behalf of the RAF to offer medical support around the world and he regularly maintains his training for this potential eventuality.
Before joining the ambulance service, Andy spent 20 years managing wholesale warehouses so when he says he used to sell baked beans for a living, he’s not exaggerating!
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Critical Care Paramedic
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A Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) is the next level above a HEMS Paramedic. They have additional skills and are able to provide further interventions, including administering a broader spectrum of drugs, including advanced pain relief, as well as surgical interventions including surgical airway and open thoracostomy, and post-ROSC specialist care following resuscitation.
A HEMS Doctor provides consultant-level enhanced pre-hospital care (EPHC) to patients. They are able to administer blood transfusions, carry out advanced roadside interventions including thoracostomies, thoracotomies, rapid sequence induction, and can administer advanced analgesia.
Our team of pilots safely fly our crew to the most critically ill and injured across the North West. These highly experienced pilots are often from a military background and have an exceptionally high skill level developed over approximately 2000 hours of flight time.
A HEMS Paramedic is a highly skilled paramedic – they are very experienced in dealing with high-acuity major trauma cases and support our HEMS Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics on scene and practice autonomously.
Our engineers are responsible for ensuring the helicopters are airworthy and safe. They carry out scheduled maintenance and rectify any defects that occur. They are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and have years of experience.
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