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Aftercare service trebles its reach thanks to expansion 

One year on from its expansion, our Aftercare service is reaching three times more patients than ever before. 

Last June, an Aftercare Manager was installed at the major trauma centre, the John Radcliffe Hospital, to work from the hospital itself. This manager joined our existing Head of Aftercare and Aftercare Manager who were already providing support in the community.  

Aftercare is an acknowledgment that something terrible happens in a moment, but the trauma exists long after

Adam Crosby, Head of Aftercare

The service, which also marks its fifth anniversary this year, ensures patients, their loved ones and those who witness an incident have support in the days, weeks and years following their emergency. In the last year, those supported have increased to more than 1,000 people affected by an incident.  

Adam Crosby, our Head of Aftercare, said: “Aftercare represents the very heart of our mission at Thames Valley Air Ambulance – to be there for the communities we serve. The new role, based directly in the hospital, means we can meet patients earlier in their journey of recovery and provide a seamless cycle of support from the incident to the bedside and then as patients begin to rebuild their lives.”  

The Aftercare services’ expansion was made possible by the generous support of a local benefactor, building on its success since its launch in 2018 when it was one of the first aftercare services established by an air ambulance.  

As well as supporting patients, the Aftercare team provides feedback for its critical care crews. This is beneficial in two ways, letting crews know what happened next in a patient’s journey can help with their wellbeing; as well as giving them access to clinical feedback to improve patient care. 

Adam added: “A medical emergency can happen in an instant. And with the advances in medicine, you can be back home literally within days. Aftercare is an acknowledgment that something terrible happens in a moment, but the trauma exists long after. 

“When life is turned upside down, and the ripples fan out among family and loved ones, we are there to listen, explain and signpost to resources. We are proud to have reached the five-year anniversary of our support, it means we have helped hundreds of people put their lives back together after what is most likely the worst experience of their lives.” 

For Helen Hide-Wright, what happened after her devastating road traffic collision had just as much of an impact on her life as what happened during it. Not only did our critical care crews save her life, but the Aftercare service was instrumental in helping her rebuild it.   

She said: “The air ambulance did not just save me, they saved my children. If I had died, I do not know what would have happened to them. Their lives would have been devastated. I know I’ve had life-changing injuries.  For my children, to lose me would have been life-changing for them. 

“Aftercare has been really important for me and my recovery, mentally and physically. Keeping that relationship with the air ambulance via Aftercare has meant everything to me. My road to recovery would have been far longer without their support.”