Professor Colville Laird awarded MBE

Congratulations to Professor Colville Laird who has been recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Honours.

BASICS Scotland are delighted that Professor Colville Laird has been recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Honours.

Professor Colville Laird (66) was the founder and latterly Medical Director of BASICS Scotland until his retirement in December 2018.

In 1993, Colville then a GP in Aberuthven, was employed by NHS Education to organise Immediate Medical Care Training for Scotland including the provision of funded course places.  Its success led to the formation of BASICS Scotland providing training for doctors, nurses and paramedics, based in remote and rural Scotland, who may find themselves first on scene at a roadside or other emergency.

From those humble beginnings BASICS Scotland has grown to deliver a wide range of course types, and in the remotest corners of the county and now has an international reputation for its teaching standards.

Their courses use a mixture of skill stations and scenarios to provide participants with realistic experiences of problems they may encounter  eg victims of road traffic accidents, major trauma or other medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests or acute asthma attacks.

This education and training of health practitioners allows them to provide life-saving pre-hospital emergency care and to expand and develop a co-ordinated network of trained BASICS Scotland Responders across remote and rural Scotland who support/augment the Scottish Ambulance Service.  In 2018, BASICS Responders were tasked by the Scottish Ambulance Service on 1115 occasions, attended 786 cases and 498 of those the BASICS responder was first on scene.

Courses are financially supported by NHS Education Scotland (NES) but the charity also relies on donations and membership fees to fund additional courses, specialised technical equipment and information programmes for their 338 members and instructors.

The post with BASICS Scotland was part-time and funded through NHS Scotland. Before retiring in December 2018, Colville was a GP in Auchterarder for 32 years during which he was actively involved in immediate care. He is immediate past Chair of the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, medical adviser to the Sandpiper Trust and was previously an Associate Editor of the Emergency Medicine Journal. He is an honorary professor at the University of Central Lancashire.

Dave Bywater, Chairman of BASICS Scotland, said: ‘Congratulations to Colville on this well-deserved honour. As the Founder and Medical Director of BASICS Scotland, Colville has been fundamental to the development of pre-hospital care training and delivery across Scotland over the last 25 years.  His dedication and enthusiasm has led BASICS Scotland to become the leading organisation in pre-hospital emergency care training in Scotland with an international reputation.

‘Numerous people across rural Scotland owe their lives to Colville, and the foresight he had back in 1993 to set up BASICS Scotland.  He is a consummate professional, highly skilled but a humble, generous and likeable individual.’

BASICS Scotland responders are fully trained doctors, nurses and paramedics who in their own time respond to 999 medical emergencies within their local area.  They are located all over Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders.  Vehicle Locator Systems, funded by the Sandpiper Trust charity, allows the Scottish Ambulance Service Control Centres to see their location and availability to respond at any given time.    In the Highlands and Grampian this amounts to around 40 -50 callouts per month.  In many cases, such as the Islands of the West Coast of Scotland BASICS responders are the major providers of Emergency Care.

Colville has been married to his wife, Kim for 39 years and they have three grown up daughters, Kirsty, Catriona and Ailsa.