AN experienced emergency care doctor from Melksham is delighted to be back working in her home county, training Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s paramedics.

Maria Smith has taken on the role as base doctor at Wiltshire Air Ambulance where she oversees clinical governance, trains the services paramedics to develop their critical care skills, and undertakes operational shifts on the helicopter and Rapid Response car.

The 48-year-old said: “I’m really proud to be working with Wiltshire Air Ambulance and I’m very lucky to be doing a job that I really enjoy. For me, it’s about wanting every patient to get the care you would want your mum or dad to get.

“Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a great team, from the pilots and paramedics to the charity staff.

“It’s such a well-supported charity and we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public who fundraise for it.

“The new airbase at Semington is really exciting and it will be nice for the crew and charity team to be on the same site.

“The paramedics are all outstanding. They are really good people and are keen to learn and develop their skills to benefit patients.

“Their specialist skills mean they can assist their ambulance colleagues by giving pre-hospital blood transfusions, additional drugs and other interventions to patients who are critically ill or injured.”

After graduating from University College, London as a doctor in 1999, Dr Smith worked in various hospitals, worked in pre-hospital emergency medicine, at Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, London Air Ambulance, and as an accident and emergency consultant.

She said working on air ambulances gives her a unique insight when treating patients: “I like seeing patients early and trying to make a difference early.

“There’s something very different about seeing patients where incidents happened and understanding how they happened.

“The air ambulance world is really good at training to ensure the safety of crews and governance and I take that back into my hospital work.”

David Philpott, chief executive at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “Experienced clinicians like Maria are few and far between and we count it a great privilege to have her.

“Her roots in this county means she has become deeply embedded in our team and we look forward to many years of partnership working with her.”