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MBEA Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor today (Friday) received his MBE from Her Majesty the Queen, for services to emergency medicine.

Dr Malcolm Russell was formally invested as a Member of the Order of the British Empire at Windsor Castle after being named in the New Year’s Honours List.

The father-of-two was presented with his award by Her Majesty the Queen at the castle’s Waterloo Chamber, watched by his proud wife and children.

He said: “It has been an amazing day and I felt honoured to have my MBE presented by Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle.

“I felt humbled to be amongst some incredible people and very thoughtful of the work our charity does and the many people we strive to help.”

Dr Russell joined the Air Ambulance as Clinical Lead in 2007, when the Surrey and Sussex helicopter was first launched.

Last year, he was appointed as the life-saving charity’s Medical Director responsible for assuring the quality of care provided by its doctors and paramedics.

Dr Russell served in the British Army for 15 years and has been involved in pre-hospital emergency medicine since 1996.

In 2011, he was part of a 50-strong UK International Search and Rescue Team who helped victims of the New Zealand earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

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Gruffalo-press imageThemed activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and a big birthday forest picnic are coming to Bedgebury.

Families in Kent and Sussex are invited into a deep dark wood near their home this year to celebrate The Gruffalo’s 15th anniversary with characters from the world-famous picture books.

From April, visitors can join Mouse on his adventure and explore Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning tale through activity trails in the Pinetum.

The fun-packed partnership kicks off with The Gruffalo activity trails in Bedgebury and 27 other forests across England, which run through to the end of September. In October, The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails take over and will stay in Bedgebury right through the winter until February 2015. Characters from the stories will lead children through the trees with adventure and intrigue, learning about woods and forests as they go.

From June, a giant wooden sculpture of one of the world’s best-loved monsters himself will be hidden in Bedgebury Pinetum. Another 14 of the 7ft tall sculptures will be hidden in forests across England, for families to track down. The 15 Gruffalos will all be different and are currently being individually-carved in a secret woodland location out of three-ton pieces of timber, each carefully-selected from Forestry Commission sites.

Visitors are also invited to gather in Bedgebury with family and friends on Saturday 7 June to celebrate The Gruffalo’s anniversary with a big birthday forest picnic – inspired by an exciting party pack of forest-inspired picnic ideas, activities and bunting, free to download this Spring from the Forestry Commission’s website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo.
Daryl Shute from Magic Light Pictures, the brand building and production company responsible for the award-winning animated Gruffalo films commented:

“The Gruffalo encourages followers to explore the real world with imagination, creativity and a true sense of adventure. With emphasis on learning and the great outdoors, Forestry Commission England is the perfect partner, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them in this anniversary year to launch these exciting new series of trails across the country.”
“The Gruffalo lives in the natural world so a local forest is the perfect place to set out with Mouse on his journey in search of these magnificent new wooden carvings of one of the nation’s favourite children’s picture book characters.”

Sandra Styles from Bedgebury commented:

“There is no better way to celebrate The Gruffalo than within the deep dark wood and forest that he calls home.

“The Gruffalo is a national treasure and so are our forests and this partnership will really help to bring the story to life and celebrate the anniversary in true Gruffalo style.

“All the activities have been carefully positioned at Forestry Commission sites across the country so you are never more than an hour away from a Gruffalo adventure, and we are very excited to be a part of the celebrations with The Gruffalo activity trails and a sculpture at Bedgebury.”

Details of trails and sculpture locations and the forest birthday picnic party pack are available from http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo. Sign up online to find out more about the exciting year of forest celebrations.

Blood transfusionDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance have performed nearly 70 emergency blood transfusions since the service was first launched a year ago today (February 4th).

Figures show that during the last 12 months the advanced medical procedure – usually performed after a patient arrives at hospital – was carried out 69 times at the scene of an accident or medical emergency.

The charity’s research shows that a total of 160 units of blood were administered to patients who had life-threatening injuries with 20-29 year-olds being the largest group of recipients.

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Gary Wareham, who pioneered the launch of the blood transfusion service, said: “The project has gone very much as we expected and we are now seeing patients delivered to hospital who may not have survived the journey before.

“We are now considering using other blood products that may further improve patient outcomes.”

The figures also show that August was the peak period for blood transfusions, the youngest patient being aged under 10 and the oldest over 90.

In one case, a patient suffered chest, pelvis and spinal injuries following a collision with a car. His airway was partially obstructed and he was agitated.

The doctor and paramedic anaesthetised him at the road-side and performed emergency chest surgery to reinflate his collapsed lungs.
They then administered four units of blood at scene and en route to the Royal London Hospital major trauma centre.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance last year became one of the first in the country to start carrying blood.

Every day, bikers at the Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) deliver eight fresh units to each of the helicopter bases from the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford and East Surrey Hospital at Redhill.

SERV secretary Mel Johnson said: “The air ambulance has been a pleasure to work with over the last year. The daily replenishment and emergency re-supply services provided by the SERV groups in Kent and Surrey have helped ensure that both helicopters are always fully stocked and ready to respond.

“We are proud to have played our part using equipment funded by The Henry Surtees Foundation to ensure that the people of the three counties have been able to receive the highest standards of critical care available, provided by a triumvirate of charities working together with a common goal.”

The Henry Surtees Foundation also supplied cars for the blood runs in addition to equipment used to store blood at the correct temperature and warm it to give to patients.

John Surtees, OBE, founder of the Foundation, said: “I spent a lifetime in motorsport where every second counts. The same factor plays a vital part in saving life and injury.

“The Henry Surtees Foundation was very happy to work with all the team at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in assisting with the introduction of the blood transfusion service.”

* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk

main copy.qxdHouse prices in the South East will see an increase of seven percent over the course of next year while the cost of renting a home should rise by a further two percent. This growth is being driven by the acute imbalance between burgeoning buyer demand and sluggish supply with new instructions to estate agents close to stagnating.

Although significant challenges remain to achieving a sustainable economic recovery, 2014 may well see the nascent pick-up in activity gather pace and this will be reflected in the housing market. In addition to rising prices, the number of transactions should also see a further increase, moving up to 1.2m (from 1.05m in 2013). Although this represents an improvement, to put this in context, total sales in 2006 were well above this at 1.67m.

With the shortage of homes coming onto the market a key factor behind the price rises, some comfort may be drawn from a likely twenty percent jump in new starts in England over the next year. That would push the total towards the 155,000 mark compared to 125,000 this year and only around 100,000 in 2012. While this is an encouraging trend, it is still insufficient to address the more rapid growth in population and will leave significant shortfalls in all tenures.

Across the UK, all parts of the country should see prices rise next year. Predictably, the biggest increases are to be seen in the capital, where the cost of a home will jump by around eleven percent. It remains to be seen what impact the recently announced increase in capital gains tax for overseas vendors will have on the prime central London market.

Meanwhile, the North East and Northern Ireland will experience the lowest rises with prices increasing by five percent and four percent respectively.

2014 UK housing market at a glance

UK REGION GROWTH

East of England ——————10
East Midlands———————10
London—————————-11
North East————————-5
Northern Ireland——————-4
North West————————-7
Scotland—————————7
South East————————-7
South West————————-7
Wales——————————7
West Midlands———————-7
Yorkshire and Humberside———–7
UK———————————8

• Cost of renting to grow by two percent
• Transactions to increase to 1.2 million
• Housing starts to edge up to 150,000 in England

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, commented:
“The cost of a house is now picking-up right across the country and next year should see more of the same. We expect all areas of the country to see prices increase with London, predictably, recording the biggest rises. The improving economic picture aside, this is largely down to the fact that buyer numbers considerably outweigh the amount of homes on the market. While the number of new homes being built is now on the rise, it still won’t be anywhere near enough to meet demand and we expect the problem of insufficient housing stock to be the main driver behind price increases over the next twelve months.”

Image credit Eleanor Sopwith

Image credit Eleanor Sopwith

Arundel Castle in West Sussex will be hosting an interactive Multi-Period Event across the Bank Holiday Weekend from 24-26 August. Set on the Lower Lawns at Arundel Castle, the three day event will provide Castle visitors with a unique journey through the history of the Castle. More

Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has launched a new lottery draw to help fund the cost of night flying.

It currently costs £5million per year to keep the service airborne but this figure will soon rise to £6million. More

The NHS wants to hear your views on fertility treatment. National guidance on the assisted conception services has been reviewed nationally and NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is keen to hear what local people think. The survey, which covers Kent, Medway and Sussex, will run until 12 August.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently reviewed its clinical guidance on fertility, which was last published in 2004. As a result, CCGs need to review decisions about how best to meet the assisted conception needs of people across the local area. As part of the review, CCGs will consider the new NICE recommendations, local capacity and resources, population needs and the views and experiences of local clinicians and patients.

The survey asks respondents for their views on:
• treatment referral
• options for same-sex couples, people with physical disabilities or psychosexual problems, and
• fertility preservation for patients undergoing treatments which may affect their future chance of conception, such as chemotherapy.

The questionnaire is open to people across Kent, Medway and Sussex. To take part in the survey, visit: http://www.medwayccg.nhs.uk. The questionnaire is available until 12 August 2013.

To open the survey click HERE

Lingfield golf & race day 001Grand National winner Bob Champion, MBE, was the special guest at a charity golf and race day which raised more than £6,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The former jump jockey, who rode Aldaniti to victory in 1981, was the charity’s celebrity tipster at the flat racing event at Lingfield Park in Surrey on Tuesday (June 11th)

Bob also presented awards to the golf teams including Air Ambulance crew members who were the overall winners of the competition on the 18-hole championship course.

He said: “Being in racing, I know how much the Air Ambulance has helped an awful lot of jockeys.

“That’s just on the jockey side but there are a lot of people who ride horses and motorbikes, and car drivers, and the helicopter always picks them up. More

Team KSSAAT 003

DBL100km

DBL100mileDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance are appealing for cyclists to join them in the life-saving charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge next month.

The 100-mile or 100km bike ride will start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome on June 23rd.

Both routes take in all counties covered by the two helicopters and the 100-mile route will pass through Marden – the home of Kent Air Ambulance.

Among the riders will be Team KSSAAT (Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust) including crew members and a former patient.

Critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley said: “This is an exciting year to be involved with the Air Ambulance with the launch of our blood transfusion service in February and night flying later this year.

“However, to enable us to provide a 24-hour service we need an extra £1million which is why fundraising events such as the Double 100 are even more vital.

Last year’s Double 100 was held at the former Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold but the routes have been changed following the relocation of one of the charity’s helicopters to Redhill in preparation for the launch of night flying.

This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People. More

DBL100HC720x481Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for cyclists to join its new-look Double 100 bike ride this summer.

The 100-mile or 100km ride on June 23rd will this year start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome.

Both new routes take in all counties covered by the two helicopters and the 100-mile route will pass through Marden in Kent – the home of Kent Air Ambulance.

100 km Route

100 km Route

More than 80 riders including Air Ambulance crew members and former patients took part in the inaugural Double 100 from Dunsfold Park, raising £12,000 for the charity.

Organisers are aiming for more than 100 entries in this year’s event which has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People.

Howard Cundey Partner Tim Foulkes said: “With a network of offices based around the counties covered by the Air Ambulance, we are delighted to be the main sponsors of the charity’s 2013 Double 100.

“We look forward to welcoming the weary riders to our Forest Row branch which is going to be a much-needed feeding station on the day.”

100 Mile Route

100 Mile Route

The Double 100 is open to regular and occasional cyclists with feeding stations along the scenic route.

To register go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/FundRaising/Double100CycleChallenge .

For more information call Julie Clare on 01622 833833 or email juliec@kssairambulance.org.uk

The National Trust in London and the South East is inspiring people to forget the doom and gloom for a day and instead recall memories of their happy places, discover the variety of National Trust places to visit in the region, and take home new happy place memories. 

As part of English Tourism Week the charity locally has launched a spring marketing campaign for the region. The promotion will include radio advertising, Facebook and Twitter initiatives, online advertising and eye-catching billboards at six key locations. More

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