Clinical Documentation

Making history – Five Air Ambulance Doctors achieve new qualification


Five doctors are on the verge of making history!

Attached photo caption (left to right):
(Back row): Magpas CEO Daryl Brown, EAAA CEO Patrick Peal, Dr James Chinery (from Wales), National Training Programme Director for PHEM Dr Simon Lewis, Dr Phil Morgan (from Yorkshire), and Doctor Jon Birks (from Leicestershire)
(Front row): Dr Nick Foster (from Southampton), The National Subspecialty Development Lead for the Faculty of PHEM Dr Roderick Mackenzie and Dr Monojit Choudhury (from Oxfordshire)

Five doctors gathered on Monday 4th August, to celebrate being the first ever sub-specialists in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), in the UK! These five doctors have successfully completed a new element of specialist training, which is also a new qualification for Air Ambulance Doctors, as registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). 

Doctor Jon Birks (from Leicestershire), Dr Monojit Choudhury (from Oxfordshire), Dr Nick Foster (from Southampton) and Dr Phil Morgan (from Yorkshire) have been all been trained in the Eastern Region, as a result of a collaboration between Magpas – The Emergency Medical Charity and East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Whilst working in partnership with the Health Education East of England and Cambridge University Hospitals, this group of well qualified and experienced, consultant-level practitioners are the first of their kind in the East of England and the whole of the country. Dr James Chinery (from Solihull, but originally from South Wales) is the fifth doctor in the UK to complete this same course and the first Doctor in Wales (trained by the Wales Deanery alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service).

The focus of this national training programme (championed in the Eastern Region and in Wales), is all about getting the right model of enhanced critical care, within the right time frame, to severely ill and injured patients when they need it most – and to continue to provide the highest level of expert care available. As the first five trainees to go through the system, these doctors have taken on numerous challenges. Reaching this moment in their careers, highlights their enthusiasm, persistence, patience and passion for what they truly believe in: the best possible patient care. The PHEM training course was developed by doctors who work for CUH Addenbrooke’s, as well as volunteering for Magpas: Dr Roderick Mackenzie, consultant in emergency medicine, CUH Major Trauma Centre director; Dr Simon Lewis, CUH ED consultant and East of England Regional Training Programme Director; and Dr Robert Major, CUH ED consultant, who is chair of the department of pre-hospital and retrieval medicine.

At 10am on Monday 4th August, all the sub-specialist doctors involved (dressed in their flight suits), gathered outside the Emergency Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, to mark this incredible achievement in PHEM, as a new subspecialty within the NHS. They were also joined by Dr Simon Lewis and Dr Roderick Mackenzie; both of whom helped to develop the new national sub-specialty training scheme in pre-hospital care, as a result of working with Magpas. Chief Executive of Magpas Daryl Brown and Chief Executive of EAAA Patrick Peal were also present in support of this occasion.

When National Training Programme Director for PHEM, Dr Simon Lewis, was asked how he felt about this moment, he explained, “Today marks a milestone in the change and delivery of Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine – allowing us to train doctors and deliver the best care for those who need it most”.

Southampton based Dr Nick Foster, described what he thought of the training he was given by Magpas and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH). He answered, “It’s the best I’ve received in my career so far; spending half the time in a helicopter delivering frontline care and the other half at Addenbrooke’s A&E department. It’s been crucial, to be able to work with the severely ill and injured from both perspectives”. Nick went on to say, “PHEM is key in the chain if survival”.

Yorkshire based Dr Phil Morgan (who was trained by EAAA and Magpas) said, “It’s taken a long time and a lot of effort to get here, spending a long time away from my family. I’m overjoyed to be through! This is all about striving for the best care for severely unwell patients. I am looking forward to sharing what I’ve learnt as a result of this PHEM subspecialist training”.

Leicestershire based Dr Jon Birks, who was trained by Magpas, said, “It’s the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end. I’ve worked hard, alongside my colleagues to achieve this moment. Our purpose is to now, as a small group, go back to other areas of the country to help establish this PHEM Subspecialty across the UK”.

Wales based Dr James Chinery (who was trained by the Welsh Deanery and the Welsh Ambulance Service) explained, “This marks a special day for me personally, my Great-grandfather served as a Doctor during the first World War. I am now working in a subspecialty, where I am in contact with a small number of extremely unwell patients, who I can make a huge difference for, whilst working alongside the Emergency Services”. James went on to say, “It is a huge privilege to do this in Wales, with remote communities, who particularly benefit from the care delivered by EMS and Wales Air Ambulance Service”.

Oxfordshire based Dr Monojit Choudhury (who was trained by EAAA and Magpas), explained, “I am extremely proud to be beginning a new career that I’ve dreamed about. Thanks to great team work and training, my knowledge has been enriched by my experiences in the East of England. I look forward to sharing this with other doctors who have the same passion and commitment, across the country”.

To sum up, CEO of Magpas Daryl Brown explained, “This is the culmination of a huge amount of work. These doctors are the future of PHEM and this a landmark for patient care”.