Found it! First NHS Grampian rapid response car launched at ARI The specialist skills of NHS Grampian consultants are now provided at the scene of emergencies, with experts travelling in a new rapid response car anywhere they are needed in the region. The car was officially launched today Tuesday, 20 August, by ex-international rugby star Gavin Hastings OBE, and is part of NHS Grampian's new blue light service G-HEMS (this stands for Grampian-Hospitals Emergency Medical Service and is pronounced 'gems'). The Subaru Impreza rapid response car has been funded entirely from charitable donations to the Emergency Department of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The Sandpiper Trust, of which Gavin Hastings is the patron, has funded all the medical and clinical equipment carried in the new car. The car will be used by NHS Grampian consultants to reach incidents where the advanced skills of a pre-hospital doctor will assist Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) colleagues in caring for the critically injured or ill. The call out will be made by SAS or Police Scotland and the car is fitted with a siren and blue lights, as well as emergency medical equipment. It is the first time a vehicle has been used this way by NHS Grampian. Jonathan Lofthouse, NHS Grampian's Acute Sector General Manager and a previous ambulance incident commander, said: "This is a really exciting patient care development for Grampian. Significant clinical evidence proves that the early involvement of specialist pre-hospital consultants in the management of critically ill or injured casualties can mean the difference between life and death. "What we have developed for the people of Grampian, is a consultant-delivered emergency service that can take the resuscitation room to the most vulnerable of our patients. We are grateful to everyone whose donations have enabled this." Dr Jeremy Richardson, Clinical Lead for the ARI Emergency Department and NHS Grampian Pre-Hospital Team, said: "In preparation for our new service, I and the consultants who will be providing pre-hospital services, have trained with experts from UK helicopter emergency medical services to ensure the very best life saving skills will be available at the scene of an incident for patients." The NHS Grampian team of 11 A&E and Anaesthetic consultants are in the process of training in safety at scenes skills and blue light driving. Dr Mark Bloch, Consultant Anaesthetist and the Anaesthetist Lead for pre-hospital care, is also a volunteer with Grampian Immediate Care Scheme (GICS), which provides life-saving pre-hospital care: "For some of our most critically injured patients access to a speciality pre-hospital consultant may be the difference between life and death. In Grampian a number of doctors, both hospital and GP, have historically volunteered to support ambulance colleagues at complex and traumatic incidents. "Where G-HEMS fits is by significantly enhancing the availability, skills and equipment on offer to enhance pre-hospital survival. The car is equipped with a substantial array of emergency surgical equipment, monitors and other vital materials. In essence, it provides a mini emergency department at the roadside." The multi-disciplinary approach means A&E and Anaesthetic consultants working with GICS volunteers and members of all the Emergency Services at the scene of an incident. Care for critically ill and injured patients will continue in hospital, co-ordinated through A&E. It is anticipated that the new G-HEMS service will be called to around 14 incidents each week.