The BEEP Fund team of doctors are the backbone of the charity, always being on-call for whatever emergency call–out they are requested to attend in the region. These dedicated and selfless individuals – if called to your aid – may only be with you for a matter of minutes but their life saving skills in that period of time are understandably priceless. We wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a few of our doctors.
Firstly, there is Dr Theo Weston MBE who is ‘Mr BEEP Fund’. When the BEEP Fund came to fruition in 1994, Theo was integral in the set up and has been a driving force for the past 25 years.
Born in Jamaica, Theo and his family moved to England when he was 3 years old and he has been located in Cumbria since the age of 5. Following medical school training in London, his love of the Lake District drew him back home and he joined a medical practice in Penrith in 1992 as a GP.
Theo enjoys the variety of challenges that pre-hospital medicine sets in an emergency situation and seeing a patient improve due to his care or the care of his team members is hugely rewarding and gives added impetus to continue, grow and improve the BEEP Fund. Working with the other members of the emergency response crews builds great teamwork and team spirit which Theo strives for.
Dr Sean Hudson MBE is an accomplished and dedicated doctor, who has been recognised for his endeavours. He is a former Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, being the first person in the UK to become a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
Since 1998, Sean has worked for ‘Across the Divide Expeditions’ providing medical cover as a medic and expedition medicine advisor, on expeditions in 21 different countries. In 2002, he co-founded, with Mark Hannaford, ‘Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’, which seeks to provide comprehensive training for professionals working as expedition medical officers in a variety of extreme and remote environments. During 2004 Sean became a medical consultant to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and working throughout the Middle East.
In 2017 Sean was awarded an MBE as Co-founder of World Extreme Medicine and Medical Lead, UKMed, Cumbria for services in providing medical aid and education.
Based in Keswick, Dr John Ferris is a Consultant in Emergency, Pre-hospital & Retrieval Medicine and has been involved in pre-hospital medicine for the last 15 years. John is extremely experienced in liaising with the firefighting, police and ambulance crews during call outs to gain the most positive outcome for the injured parties. Married, with two children, the family enjoy climbing and skiing together.
Dr Angus Mitchell is the latest doctor to join the BEEP crew and joined the team in March 2019. Having graduated as a doctor from Aberdeen 10 years ago, Angus specialises in Emergency Medicine and Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. Angus has returned to his roots, originally coming from Carlisle and he continues to maximise his location by enjoying active hobbies such as cycling, climbing and running.
Dr Gareth Coakley has been part of the BEEP Doctor team for four years now. Originating from Nottingham, he qualified as a GP in 2005 after studying at the University of Sheffield. Gareth moved to Cumbria for his first GP role and currently works in Longtown. In addition to his roles as GP and BEEP Doctor Gareth is the Chief Clinical Information Office and GP Lead for the North Cumbria Clinical Commission Group. As a BEEP Doctor this voluntary work gives Gareth a different perspective in treating patients compared to his daily GP role.
Dr Phil Spencer’s CV shows that he obtained a BSc and a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Southampton before studying medicine at the University of Bristol. Having been a doctor for nearly 30 years now, Phil’s career as GP began in Bristol then relocated to Cumbria in 1991 where he has provided pre-hospital care for over 20 years and joined BEEP a year ago.
Phil is a great asset to the team, as alongside the GP sessions at the Glenridding Surgery, he teaches Medical Law and Ethics to Lancaster Medical School students and is a GP Expert Witness preparing medico-legal reports.
The challenges posed by the emergency call outs answered by the BEEP Doctors are varied and the technical clinical knowledge called upon can be testing, but as with everyone on the team, the satisfaction of helping people at the most distressing and frightening time is such a reward and this drives and unites the BEEP team.