Consultant at the heart of East Anglian Air Ambulance becomes medical director
A well-known emergency medicine consultant who has been flying with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) for 16 years has become its new medical director during one of its most challenging times.
Dr Victor Inyang will be taking over from Alastair Wilson who is retiring from EAAA after an illustrious career in emergency medicine.
As medical director at EAAA, Victor will lead on all clinical matters with the priority always to put the patient first and focus on evidence-based medicine. In line with the charity’s strategy, he will look for ways to reduce the impact of trauma and medical emergency in the community, such as increasing EAAA’s ability to provide good quality CPR training to help increase patient survival rates from a cardiac arrest.
He will also steer the charity through the transition to providing a 24/7 helicopter emergency medical service for the first time, enabling the medical teams to be there for even more patients.
Victor has been at the heart of leading the charity’s clinical work during the coronavirus pandemic, adapting the normal helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) operation to support the NHS as much as possible and to ensure its teams are kept safe while providing emergency care.
He said: “It’s been incredibly challenging at times, but we put our patients at the centre of everything we do. I’m really pleased with the way we’ve been able to adapt the service and support our colleagues in the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic. By participating with critical care transfers and supporting the ambulance service with crew and patient support lines, as well as notable staff secondments to other organisations to share expertise, flexibility has been a strong attribute of our team.
“EAAA has a unique blend of highly talented and motivated clinicians, charity staff and volunteers, which convinced me to apply for the role of medical director. I know I’m joining a finely tuned orchestra that requires a conductor to continue producing a harmonious working environment, and the delivery of first-class clinical care to our patients and the community.
“I’m looking forward to working with these excellent teams to continue to get the best results for our patients and looking ahead to when we become a 24/7 service. Next year, we hope to be able to provide the very best care for the region by helicopter 24 hours a day, for the first time.”
Patrick Peal, CEO of EAAA, said: “It’s really special to be welcoming Victor into this position as he spent some of his early medical career learning from Alastair, our retiring medical director. Victor will be excellent at carrying on the fantastic work Alastair has started, from making sure EAAA is data-driven to ensuring we provide the very best care for our patients. A huge part of that is also creating the most supportive working environment for our doctors and paramedics as they can face some very challenging and demanding situations.
“Victor is already very hands-on when it comes to training and supporting our medical teams and helping us to be evidence-based in our approaches. We’re naturally very sad to be saying goodbye to Alastair, who has been absolutely brilliant at developing the clinical excellence of EAAA over the last six years, but we are also delighted to welcome Victor to the executive team, to carry on Alastair’s legacy.”
Alastair helped found the London Air Ambulance in 1989 and was awarded an OBE for his work on the frontline during the 7/7 bombings in 2005. In 2013 he retired from London and then came on board as EAAA’s medical director to share his learnings and expertise.
Over the last six years, Alastair has helped to accelerate the clinical operation at EAAA to be more evidence-based and improve the inter-hospital networks across the region. He has also focused on increasing knowledge and skill sharing amongst the region’s three air ambulance charities, putting patient outcomes first and driving continuous improvement.
A key change Alastair introduced to the EAAA operation was to move the paramedic in the helicopter from the pilot support role to the back of the aircraft with the doctor and patient, by moving the operation to two-pilot crews. This has meant the medical teams can focus on providing the very best care and be more hands-on with the patient during transfers to hospital, improving care.
Alastair said: “Victor is absolutely brilliant and I’m very excited for him, and for what he will bring to EAAA. He is clinically excellent, a great teacher and also has a very good understanding of EAAA and its charitable objectives. I couldn’t be handing over the medical director role to a better candidate.”