A team of volunteer doctors have been able to purchase vital new emergency response equipment thanks to donations from North Devon organisations.

Dr Marc Epps, Dr Clare Bosanko, Dr Thomas Owens, Dr Simon Scott-Hayward and Dr Lauren Weekes with their new bags.Dr Marc Epps, Dr Clare Bosanko, Dr Thomas Owens, Dr Simon Scott-Hayward and Dr Lauren Weekes with their new bags.

BASICS Devon’s specialist emergency volunteer doctors needed to replace their medical response bags with new infection, prevention and control-compliant rucksacks.

Not only are the new bags reflective and durable, but they can be wiped down, making it easier to control infections and keep doctors and patients safe.

The Rotary Club of Barnstaple and Rotary Club of Barnstaple Link have donated £500 towards equipping responders in North Devon.

Other funders include North Devon Council, Devon County Council’s Prompt Action Covid-19 Fund and the Tesco Bags for Help Scheme at Braunton’s store.

Dr Lauren Weekes displaying how the bags are laid out.Dr Lauren Weekes displaying how the bags are laid out.

Dr Marc Epps, secretary and volunteer immediate care doctor at BASICS Devon, said: “I am delighted with the new bags, lighter weight and IPC compliant makes them fit for purpose. A very big thank you to our donors.”

The funding has also helped doctors equip themselves further with individual oxygen bags and drug modules.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, said: “I’m incredibly proud that we had the opportunity to provide grant funding and help further support the vital work of BASICS Devon.

“It’s so important that our medical teams have the most up-to-date kit and equipment even more so during the recent months and I’m delighted we have been able to help with this.”

County and district councillor Frank Biederman said: “I was delighted to contribute to this fantastic scheme, having volunteer doctors to be able to support critical incidents and support other organisations in an emergency is essential, finding the funds to continue to doing it safely through the pandemic is clearly hard on voluntary organisations.”