MARS is a team of volunteer doctors, nurses and paramedics who provide advanced pre-hospital medical care to seriously injured and critically unwell patients in the Midlands.
Based across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Midlands we cover over 2500 square miles of central England, from Birmingham down to Ross-on-Wye and from the Welsh border across to Evesham.
We respond, to requests for assistance from West Midlands Ambulance Service, in our own personal cars that are fitted out with blue lights and sirens. We bring highly skilled medical expertise to the patient, capable of providing life saving interventions at the roadside. Many of these interventions are not provided by the ambulance service.
MARS looks after critically ill patients including those severely injured in car crashes, industrial incidents, shootings and stabbings, through to adult and child cardiac arrests and those others with serious medical problems, such as heart attacks, fits, and breathing problems.
Working alongside the West Midlands Ambulance Service, MARS clinicians deliver hospital care at the scene of the incident. By bringing our additional skills, equipment, drugs and surgical procedures to the patient we aim to save lives and improve patients’ outcomes. Last year we helped care for nearly 300 patients – our busiest year ever.
MARS is a small pre-hospital charity. Currently we have 16 clinicians who respond on behalf of the charity. It costs over £10000 to get each clinician out on the road.
MARS plays an important role in providing vital pre-hospital medical care to people seriously injured and critically unwell across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and the Midlands.
Meet the people behind MARS
Meet our highly skilled medical experts and trustees who run MARS.
Dr Rob Moss
Rob is a Consultant Anaesthetist in Birmingham with a specialist interest in major trauma, emergency anaesthesia and mass casualty planning. After starting in pre-hospital care with the West Midlands CARE Team he is now a HEMS doctor with the Midlands Air Ambulance and MERIT doctor with West Midlands Ambulance Service. He enjoys spending as much time outside in the fresh air walking, cycling, jogging, gardening….
Dr Mark Wheeley
Has been responding for MARS since 2016.
Started anaesthetics training in 2007 and employed as a Speciality Doctor in anaesthetics and ITU in Hereford since 2010.
Mr Andy Thurgood
Andy is the immediate past clinical director of MARS and has been an emergency nurse for over 30 years; his hospital speciality is as a senior Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Emergency Medicine.
He was awarded the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh becoming the first non-doctor to achieve accreditation as a PHEM Consultant. He provides leadership and clinical governance advice to a number of police and fire and rescue services across UK including the Medical Director for West Midlands Fire Service and Clinical Director of West Midlands CARE team.
He is a co-founder and trustee of citizenAID, a charity which provides free information on how the public should respond to a deliberate attack and how they can treat casualties before the arrival of any formal 999 responses.
Dr Malcolm Russell
Malcolm has been a BASICS doctor since the mid-90s and an air ambulance doctor since 2000. He currently works as a senior consultant with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the Air Ambulance of Kent, Surrey & Sussex. In his spare time, he continues to be a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, dabbling in free-diving, blacksmithing, gardening, sea-kayaking, photography and meadow restoration – to name a few.
Dr Ryan O’Leary
Ryan is a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care at Hereford County Hospital, and has been working in pre-hospital care since 2015. He currently works for West Midlands Ambulance Service MERIT and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. He regularly responds to cases throughout Herefordshire.
When not working or responding for MARS he can generally be found tinkering with an old Land Rover or spending time outside with his dogs and family.
Dr Jon Hulme
Jon is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine & Anaesthesia at Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust and Joint Clinical Lead for Critical Care Services there. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham.
Since completing the trauma life support course run by the West Midlands CARE Team during his degree, Jon has been active within prehospital emergency medicine in the Midlands for over 20 years.
As well as MARS, Jon is a doctor with WMAS MERIT Service & Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. He is chair of the Birmingham, Black Country, Hereford & Worcester trauma network board that oversees the collaboration between providers commissioned to deliver trauma care services in those areas.
He also makes a pretty good loaf of bread, enjoys cooking, a decent IPA, and to the bemusement of many, makes his own charcuterie. For the last couple of years, as it’s not all about eating and drinking, he has become a keen follower of Joe Wicks and the busy weekly diary now includes several HIIT sessions.
Dr Katie White
Katie qualified from Cardiff University and works as a Consultant in Anaesthetics at Hereford Wye Valley Trust and a Consultant in Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine with Midlands Air Ambulance and West Midlands Ambulance Service MERIT team. Katie joined the Mercia Accident Rescue Service team in 2009 and regularly responds with in her local area of Herefordshire.
Katie has two children and enjoys running in her spare time.
Matt has worked in pre-hospital care as a paramedic for over 25 years and is a Consultant Paramedic and also works as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Emergency Care working in an Emergency Department. Matt also developed his medical skills to support search and rescue teams focusing on flood/water rescue and delivering care in austere environments. In his spare time, Matt enjoys walking, cycling, fishing and playing strategic battle games.
Dr Ben Hall
Coming from a background of working with Search & Rescue, Ben now works as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and has a particular interest in the delivery of emergency care in austere environments. He misses working in the mountains and can often be found dragging his protesting children and long-suffering wife up the hills of Herefordshire and South Wales.
Dr Gavin Perkins
Gavin Perkins is a critical care doctor who works with University Hospitals Birmingham and West Midlands Ambulance Service to deliver care to critically ill and injured patients across the West Midlands. In addition to his clinical role he is Director of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit who have led a number of research studies investigating better treatments for people with critical illness (including the BALTI trials and PARAMEDIC trials). Outside of work Gavin enjoys travelling and mastering his skills on the BBQ.
Dr Andrew Owen
As well as volunteering as a BASICS doctor for MARS, Andy is a clinical lead for West Midlands CARE Team and a Doctor for Midland Air Ambulance and the WMAS MERIT service. Andy is a Consultant Anaesthetist at University Hospitals Birmingham.
Matt has worked in pre-hospital care as a paramedic for over 25 years and is a Consultant Paramedic and also works as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Emergency Care working in an Emergency Department. Matt also developed his medical skills to support search and rescue teams focusing on flood/water rescue and delivering care in austere environments.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys walking, cycling, fishing and playing strategic battle games.