SAVES Doctors make themselves available as "on call" for South Western Ambulance Service night and day in addition to their busy "day jobs" in general practice or hospital medicine.

This is the story of a typical call...

Ambulance hub call centre

The South West Ambulance Service will assess the nature of the problem.  When they ascertain that a situation would benefit from expert medical assistance, they will call the nearest available SAVES responder.

SAVES responders only attend incidents when requested by the hub.

Emergency car

The SAVES responder drops what he or she is doing and travels to the patient.  All of our responders have advanced driver training and specific training in blue light emergency response driving.  Cars are especially fitted with blue lights and audible warnings to enable them to get to the incident quickly and safely.

SAVES volunteers attending a crash

SAVES responders work with other emergency services such as paramedics, fire & rescue teams and the police to provide the best possible outcome for the patient. 

Increasingly specialist teams including ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) and Air Ambulance Teams are working alongside our doctors.


Sometimes, it might be necessary to accompany the patient to the hospital to provide continued medical support throughout the journey.

Depending on the circumstances and the patient's injuries this may be to the nearest hospital or to a specialist unit such as the Major Trauma Centre at Southmead in Bristol.

Hospital treatment room

On arrival at hospital, our responder will discuss the patient's needs with the receiving medical team. 

They will ensure that vital information is passed on to give the patient the best chance of recovery.

Once the patient is safely handed over, the doctor will return to their home or work - sometimes this may mean arranging transport back to their car at the incident scene. 

A typical call-out may last from anything from one hour to four hours. The doctor will ensure all records are completed and kit is replenished then "log on" again as available for the next call.

Complex cases are often discussed at SAVES Educational meetings to ensure that all of our team can benefit form any learning points.


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