Doctor whose charity work is on M1

AT any time of the day or night, Doctor Zain Haider can be called upon to rush to the scene of a major incident to assist paramedics and the fire service – and he does it all without being paid. Dr Haider is a member of a charity called the North Herts Im

AT any time of the day or night, Doctor Zain Haider can be called upon to rush to the scene of a major incident to assist paramedics and the fire service - and he does it all without being paid.

Dr Haider is a member of a charity called the North Herts Immediate Care Scheme (NHICS), which is part of the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS).

As such, and in addition to his usual work, he volunteers to turn out to accidents when requested to do so by other members of the emergency services.

Dr Haider, who used to be a registrar in Lister Hospital's A&E department, said: "I'm a surgeon of 10 years training in the NHS but I'm now working in research.


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"I have this skill and no outlet so I joined NHICS two years ago. I think it's something that's needed and something I can do without any extra training.

"Some BASICS regional groups are able to call upon more than 20 doctors and hire full-time charity professionals, resulting in a fully equipped and permanently staffed service.

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"Unfortunately it is really only me who has offered my time and services to the local ambulance and rescue teams.

"When I am away there is little extra the ambulance crews can call on if a horrendous crash occurs. As a result, I have altered the way I spend my spare time so I minimise the likelihood that I receive a call and am wanted at a scene but have made myself unavailable.

"It would be great if we could get more doctors volunteering their time in our area."

Dr Haider, 36, covers a 20-mile radius from his home in Henlow, which includes the A1(M) and M1, and he attends road traffic accidents and other major incidents.

"It was initially a 10-mile radius," he explained, "but I extended it to 20 to cover the M1. There are things happening on the M1 that I want to know about.

"I go where and when needed, as often as my commitments and two daughters allow."

He added: "The current provision of trauma services, via the coordinated efforts of our ambulance, police and fire departments provide an excellent level of medical care.

"Recent research has shown that there is a 'golden hour' at an incident, where the attendance of a doctor can improve the chances of survival.

"However there is no funded provision for this type or level of advanced medical care.

"The air ambulances do provide means for getting some extra care to these scenes, but they don't fly at night or in inclement weather.

"I chase this golden hour and do what I can, when I can, by assisting the paramedics and fire service so they can plough on and I can take some responsibilities off their shoulders."

Dr Haider, who leads research into childhood cancers and is also a member of Mid Beds District Council, won the Service to the Community category in this year's Comet Community Awards. He said: "I was so genuinely surprised and humbled to have been nominated, let alone win."

Dr Haider personally pays for the car, insurance, training and medical kit required for his work with the NHICS, but he needs financial help.

He said: "I have about £3,000 worth of kit, which I paid for myself. I used about £600 of kit on a gentleman and it took about four months to put it all back together. I have about two thirds of what I need to carry."

If you can help Dr Haider, email him at nhics-zain@usa.net or call him on 07512929283.

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