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Pre-Hospital Care

Pre-Hospital Care


The West Midlands CARE team is a BASICS organization, based at Selly Oak Hospital, which provides a structured, supervised educational programme and practical experience in pre-hospital care. The training scheme recruits from medical undergraduates and junior doctors, leading initially to the completion of the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care course (PHEC), with experience gained as an observer joining fully registered members on the team. Once qualified and fully registered, doctors progressively take a lead role on the team, always supported by an experienced nurse and doctor.

CARE team


The team work closely with the West Midlands Ambulance Service, and members of the ambulance service provide training and senior support on Friday and Saturday nights; ambulance mobile officers in a vehicle provided by the ambulance service work with a team doctor and nurse and an observer answering emergency calls.

The scheme provides education and training in all aspects of emergency medicine, but in particular the exposure to trauma provides invaluable insight into the mechanisms and consequences of injury and the difficulties encountered when working in a pre-hospital enviroment. Emphasis in safety, personal protection, and equipment is reflected in the monthly training meetings where lectures and moulage scenarios are well attended.

The team have recently opened a new training centre based at Bristol Road Ambulance Station with state-of-the-art equipment.

The pre-hospital trauma course for medical students has run annually since 1993. The course caters for >200 students with a faculty of 40+ instructors. Successful completion of the course which is rigorously assessed grants a certificate awarded by the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support Course is validated regularly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. When faculty consensus papers that impact upon learning outcomes in the course are published, the course and goals are adjusted to reflect these changes & advances. The PHTC is therefore unique in adapting it's content quickly to reflect current best practice. The course is an intensive multi-disciplinary programme aimed at providing candidates with the skills and knowledge to recognise the seriously injured patient and provide appropriate interventions to manage the patient in the pre-hospital enviroment, within their scope of professional practice.


The CARE team assists enthusiasts who get involved in the training to successfully complete the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Dip IMC RCS Ed) and acheive the status of an independant prehospital care practitioner. Some will process to sit the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care (FIMC RCS Ed), which follows a four year training programme.


Working with BASICS, Trauma Care and the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care, the CARE Team has often taken the lead in developing aspects of pre-hospital emergency care across the UK. Members are encouraged to undertake research and audit projects, and have been involved in establishing many recent advances.


Formed in 1977, the British Association for Immediate Care, BASICS, is a voluntary organisation whose members provide skilled medical help at the scene of an accident, medical emergency or during transport to hospital. BASICS is a registered charity which acts as the national co-ordinating body for both Schemes and individuals providing Immediate Care throughout the United Kingdom.


Members of BASICS provide immediate treatment in many different emergency situations. In road traffic accidents for example, the time between injury and arrival at hospital may be prolonged. The victim may be trapped and require extrication by the emergency services, or in rural enviroments the distance from hospital may be considerable and the need for rapid intervention at the roadside may be life saving. BASICS Doctors with their additional medical expertise increase the casualty's chance of survival. CARE Team has demonstrated that the treatment strength is further increased when a pre-hospital trained and experienced Doctor and Nurses are working together.


Qualified members of the team are involved in providing medical cover for a wide variety of sporting and mass gathering events both regionally and nationally. Motorsport meetings run by Incarace provide experience of extrications and trauma, plus numerous grasstrack and motocross events and equestrian events are supported. Several of the doctors on the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire air ambulance are CARE team members.


Any medical staff interested in getting involved in the CARE team and pre-hospital care in the West Midlands should visit the BASICS and CARE team websites, and contact the administrators there.



  1. Pre-hospital care--the evolution of a course for undergraduates.
    Allison KP, Kilner T, Porter KM, Thurgood A. - Resuscitation. 2002 Feb;52(2):187-91.
  2. Training doctors in prehospital care: the West Midlands (UK) approach.
    Porter KM. - Emerg Med J. 2004 Jul;21(4):509-10.