THAMES Valley Air Ambulance has today revealed a huge rise in former patients seeking its aftercare services, since the start of the pandemic.

Figures for the 12-month period from October 2019 to September last year, show a rise of 76 former patients in March who contacted the charity for support.

The service is one of the first air ambulances in the country to introduce the patient liaison manager, a role that has many facets, one of which supports patients who have been helped by the charity.

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It also extends to loved ones and the bereaved.

After discharge from hospital, the patient liaison manager helps people on their recovery journey and signposts them to specialist providers to ensure they get help for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

But also, where a life-changing incident has affected employment and financial circumstances, people are guided so they can understand if they are entitled to any support.

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Adam Crosby, who has taken on the role at Thames Valley Air Ambulance, commented: "The road to recovery is different for everyone.

"For some patients and their families, being discharged from hospital is only the start of a very long journey.

"We are known for being at the frontline of saving lives, but the aftercare we offer is another vital service to help people come to terms with what was probably the most traumatic experience of their life."

Mr Crosby added that the huge increase in former patients needing his help shows how 'long a shadow Covid-19 has cast' on people's lives.

He said: "People feel isolated and need support.

"Whether it is a phone or video call, the pandemic is not stopping us from providing the aftercare so many people need."

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