BASICS South West was formed in March 2010 as an umbrella group for the immediate care schemes working with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The founding schemes were SAVES (Somerset), PLIMS (Plymouth and surrounding area of South Devon) TACTICS (Remainder of Devon) and BASICS Cornwall. In 2013 TACTICS and PLIMS merged to form BASICS Devon and BASICS South West was joined by SWIFT Medics providing services in Wiltshire. In 2015, BASICS South West was joined by BASICS Gloucestershire forming a federation of BASICS schemes, working with South Western Ambulance Service, that stretches from Lands End in Cornwall to Moreton-in Marsh in the Cotswolds.
BASICS SW schemes are part of a larger network of immediate care schemes across the UK which operate under the umbrella of the national organisation BASICS.
Our schemes are charitable organisations providing a network of volunteer doctors across the region with specialised training in the emergency management of trauma and medical conditions outside hospital. They respond to incidents at the request of ambulance control in their own cars, which are equipped with blue lights and sirens for those with ambulance approved driver training (and green lights for those who have not).
Most of the work is in helping casualties of road traffic collisions, especially those who are trapped and seriously injured. We are also called to give immediate medical care to people who have become critically ill through medical problems or trauma.
The doctors are available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and perform this role in addition to their "day jobs" which are predominantly in general practice, anaesthetics and emergency medicine (A&E).
In 2012, 17 Members of BASICS South West were awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for their work and in 2014 the then chairman, Dr James Hickman, was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List "for services to healthcare, particularly emergency medical care"