MEDICS on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance have been given help to deal with the stress of the job.

The charity has enlisted the support of See for Miles, a counselling and psychotherapy firm based in Marlborough.

Last year See for Miles provided two days of training for Wiltshire Air Ambulance medics, who attended a critical care paramedic course organised in conjunction with Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, and will provide support in the future.

David Philpott, chief executive of the air ambulance, said : “Over the past few months we have been working with See for Miles in an informal capacity and have been very impressed with their skill in helping people through the effects of trauma, forced lifestyle changes, bereavement and stress.

“Their many years’ experience in assisting members of the armed forces suffering post traumatic stress syndrome means that they are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges that a serious accident throws up.”

Mr Philpott said patients or families of patients often visit the airbase to thank the paramedics and pilots and said this can be an emotional experience, especially in the case of families whose relatives have died.

Geoff Miles, principal psychologist with See for Miles, said: ”We are very aware of the emotional and psychological effects that an incident can impact on a patient and their family, friends and colleagues and realise that if these effects are dealt with and tackled early on it can minimise impact later. We are proud to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance in this way.”

“The training we do covers understanding what causes stress, what the reaction is and how we deal with it and how long term and damaging it can be.

“Stress can result in a person distancing themselves from their family, not able to sleep or eat properly. We need to make sure people are equipped psychologically.

“Paramedics are very sensitive to what is happening and the people they deal with on a daily basis and we help them to know how to leave it at the hangar gate when they go home.”