Children’s Air Ambulance, the only dedicated children’s medical flight service in the U.K., recently unveiled their plans to double their operations. The charity plans to have two new helicopters in operation by next year, operating from new bases located in north and south England. Children’s Air Ambulance should be able to accomplish this goal using £32million.
Current Limited Infrastructure Means Limited Medical Flight Service
The charity currently fulfills its missions using only one helicopter that operates from its base at Coventry. As a result of this limited infrastructure, Children’s Air Ambulance can only transport one in three of children and babies who require their service. It is estimated that there are at least 1,000 of these cases every year where children and babies require an emergency helicopter transfer from one location to another.
What the New Helicopters Would Mean for the Service
With the introduction of two new helicopters, Children’s Air Ambulance hopes to fulfill the needs of every child requiring a medical flight service. Helicopter transfers can be four times faster than road ambulances, which can make a huge difference for critically ill or injured patients.
The charity will be formally signing a seven-year lease for two new helicopters that would replace their current helicopter. These helicopters are Anglo-Italian AW 169 and will be carrying incubators, which are crucial for transporting neo-natal intensive care patients. They will be able to provide a 19-hour service every day for seven days a week.
Children’s Air Ambulance operates entirely out of donations and fundraisers. They flew their first mission in 2013 and have helped in transporting thousands of critically ill or injured children. For each medical transfer, the charity spends an average of £2,800. They hope to be able to provide world-class helicopter transfer service for children who are in dire need of specialist care.