Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Anne Booth

Magpas Air Ambulance’s Dr Anne Booth, from Ely, has been shortlisted in the Doctor of the Year category in the prestigious Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence, which recognise the professionalism, excellence and dedication of the air ambulance community across the UK.

Dr Anne Booth has been recognised for her hard work in both the regional and national COVID-19 response. Magpas Air Ambulance, a lifesaving charity based just outside of Huntingdon that serves the Cambridgeshire community, was one of only three air ambulance services in the country to transfer critically ill COVID-19 patients between hospitals by air, and that’s due to Anne’s dedication and expertise. Anne played a crucial role in writing procedures, liaising with national organisations and hospitals, working with doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots and in grueling conditions for long hours to ensure patients across the country could receive the best possible care and try to relieve pressure on hospitals.

As a result of all the work Anne put into the transfer operations, she is now a Critical Care Transfer Lead for the region and has helped to feed into the development of the Adult Critical Care Transfer Service in the East of England. This work on national transfers has also meant there is now a national specification for national critical care transfers.

It’s important to remember that this was on top of all the other work Anne was doing for the charity and Cambridgeshire at this time. Anne is also a Neuroanaesthetist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, for which she also wrote their procedures on transfers and having experienced it from both sides, trained 80 hospital staff members in how to facilitate transfers. Anne also provided training for Health Education England and as mum of two girls in their teens, also dealt with schoolwork and guided them through the turbulent time too. Anne is true example of a doctor going above and beyond for excellent patient care, not just in the region but across the country.

As well as celebrating Anne’s achievements, Magpas Air Ambulance are also pleased to be shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category in the awards as well, for their investment in a decontamination robot and chamber last year.

The hydrogen peroxide decontamination robot

Magpas Air Ambulance was the first air ambulance service in the UK to commission this advanced technology in the fight against

COVID-19, which allowed them to decontaminate flight suits, uniforms, kit bags and even reusable PPE.

This piece of equipment proved a huge operational benefit for Magpas Air Ambulance. Beforehand the Magpas medical team had to manually clean every piece of equipment, but their clinicians now have the confidence that the equipment has gone through a decontamination system that ensures the safety of both their patients and themselves. The enhanced safety offered by decontaminating flight suits, PPE and kit bags with hydrogen peroxide was a key factor in enabling Magpas Air Ambulance to continue to safely operate their lifesaving service and support the NHS response to the pandemic with regional and national inter-hospital transfers as well as double its daytime capacity and have an additional team ready to step in when a transfer was undertaken.

Commissioning this decontamination technology allowed the charity to respond to the increasing need for their lifesaving service and keep on putting safety first for all while continuing to deliver a first-class service for the sickest patients in the region.

Simmy Akhtar, CEO of Air Ambulances UK, said: “The professionalism, excellence and dedication of all those who work and volunteer within the air ambulance community is extraordinary. We are incredibly proud that these Awards recognise their vital contribution to providing advanced pre-hospital critical care to people who suddenly become critically injured or ill, saving lives and improving patient outcomes every day across the UK.

“I would like to thank everyone who made a nomination for the Awards this year. Each nomination was hugely inspiring and a great testament to the incredible lifesaving work of the UK’s air ambulance charities. Our judging panel had to make some very difficult decisions and so the team at Magpas Air Ambulance and Dr Anne Booth have every reason to be proud of their incredible lifesaving work across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and surrounding counties to have reached the shortlist for the Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence. We very much look forward to announcing the winners at our virtual ceremony next month.”