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History of Magpas

Dr Neville SilverstonTeam and PoliceMagpas Helicopter above team

The Mid Anglia General Practitioner Accident Service (Magpas) was the brainchild of local GP's Dr Neville Silverston MBE and Dr Derek Cracknell MBE. Magpas first commenced a voluntary out of hours service in 1971. This quickly evolved into an immediate care scheme where over 200 GP's were called to medical emergencies across the region. This service was entirely voluntary and the doctors responded in their own cars. Magpas provided the training, equipment and governance framework. The Organisation became a registered charity in 1972.

In 2000 Dr Rod Mackenzie, a hospital based Consultant in Emergency Medicine, reviewed the service provided by Magpas. He proposed that in order to continue to provide added benefit for patients, the charity needed to deliver more enhanced specialist care at the scene of serious incidents. By January 2003 the plans were formalised. As a result, Magpas introduced Emergency Medical Teams.

To start with, the Magpas Doctor and Paramedic teams were deployed by road, in a dedicated rapid response vehicle. From 1997 they were also despatched by air, using the Cambridgeshire Police helicopter based at RAF Wyton. Following the closure of the Cambridgeshire Police helicopter, Magpas secured its own dedicated Air Ambulance. Magpas Doctor and Paramedic teams continue to be stationed at RAF Wyton which is centrally located within the Eastern region.

In addition Magpas developed Community First Responders across Cambridgeshire. These are lay responders within a community, specially trained and equipped to respond to local medical emergencies. The first Community Responder groups were launched in 2001. By 2009 there were over 40 community first responder groups with over 400 volunteers. In 2010 the governance and funding was transferred to EEAST Ambulance Service Trust. For more information on joining the Community First Responder Scheme, please click on: http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/get-involved/community-first-responders.htm

Recognising the importance of research and development, Magpas launched the first multi-agency population based research program - Cambridge Trauma & Audit Research Project. By analysing traumatic injury data over a period of 4 years, Magpas sought to evolve it's service, in order to save more lives in the future. This research was conducted in conjunction with Leicester University Hospital and partially funded by the Department of Health. This research went on to become the bench mark for development of Trauma Networks across the United Kingdom.

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Registered Charity No. 1119279

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Our Office Locations

  • support

    Charity HQ

    Centenary House
    Cambs, PE29 3PE
  • operations

    Air Base

    Wyton Airfield
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