Coastal Resort To Benefit From Swasft Charity Funding

A seaside resort is being promised even better emergency care after the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT)’s charity won significant funding for a community responder team.

The South Western Ambulance Service Charity (SWAC) was awarded £2,235 from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which will enable the Ilfracombe Community First Responders (CFRs) to enhance the level of patient care they deliver.

The funding will provide lifting devices for responders to use on patients who have had non-injury falls, but are unable to get up.

It will also be used to purchase other medical equipment, including blood pressure monitors and thermometers.

Ryan Ware, SWASFT Community Responder Officer for Devon, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable us to further support the local community in a robust and safe way. The new equipment we can now purchase will be a great investment for Ilfracombe.

“Our volunteers give their time freely to help support SWASFT and our patients; and this funding will help them to provide more enhanced care for those in need. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.”

The Bags of Help scheme sees grants of up to £5,000 – raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects every month. Customers vote for a local project using a token given to them at a store check-out.

The lifting equipment enables responders to move non-injury falls patients from the floor to a sitting or standing position. The scheme is intended to improve care of patients in local communities, and it means more ambulances are freed-up for higher priority calls.

SWASFT was given the Best Care of Older People accolade at the Health Service Journal’s 2018 Patient Safety Awards last month for the initiative.

CFRs are trained volunteers who attend emergency incidents on behalf of SWASFT within their local communities. They respond to particular types of 999 calls where it is essential for the patient to receive immediate lifesaving care. These include conditions such as cardiac arrest, chest pain, breathing difficulties, unconscious patients, fitting and stroke.

There are around 1,000 CFRs providing lifesaving support to patients across the region.

SWASFT covers one of the most rural areas of the UK, and is committed to providing the population of the South West with the highest standard of out-of-hospital care.

SWAC, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the SWASFT.

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

We are funded by donations and legacies received primarily from patients, and their relatives, who wish to say thank you for the care that they, or their loved one, has received from us. In addition, members of the public donate to our charity to show their appreciation for the Trust.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website:

SWAC is a registered charity in England and Wales (1049230)


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