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Millions needed to keep Air Ambulance flying

London Air Ambulance relies on public donations to keep its emergency helicopters flying.

  • The 'Your London, Your Helicopter' campaign has raised £4 million.
  • £6 million is needed to keep the new helicopter flying for five years.
  • London Freemasons are currently the biggest donors having committed to donating £2million.
  • The charity hopes the new helicopter will allow them to reach an extra 400 patients a year.

New helicopter for London Air Ambulance

London Air Ambulance has bought a second helicopter thanks to public donations Credit: Jon Le Ray

London's Air Ambulance service has acquired a second emergency helicopter after the public raised over four million pounds. It's hoped the chopper will help reach a further 400 patients a year.

We are absolutely thrilled to have now completed the acquisition of our second MD902 Explorer helicopter. While more money still needs to be raised and there is still more work to do to get the aircraft ready for UK HEMS operations, this is a truly exciting development for London and the biggest step-change in our service resilience in the charity's history. Thank you to all those who have already contributed.

– Graham Hodgkin, Chief Executive Officer at London's Air Ambulance


London Air Ambulance team's extreme weight lifting

London Air Ambulance in South London Credit: PA

The London Air Ambulance team are making a final push to raise funds to purchase a second helicopter. Paramedic Sam Margetts and a team will be lifting the 'equivalent weight' of the MD902 Explorer helicopter on the helipad of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

The challenge marks the beginning of National Air Ambulance week and will be done against the clock.

London Air Ambulance has already raised £4 million of the £ 6 million needed to buy a second helicopter. Last year London Air Ambulance treated 1,806 patients. So far this year, the current and only helicopter has been unavailable for a total of 53 days for maintenance.

London's Air Ambulance aims for second helicopter

Credit: Richard Morris

London's Air Ambulance is trying to raise £4.4 million to buy a second helicopter.

Currently the capital has only one emergency helicopter, which was unavailable for 55 days last year due to maintenance.

£1.6 million has already been raised and the money would help to extend daylight flying hours for the next five years.


London Air Ambulance celebrates 25th anniversary

The London Air Ambulance in front of Tower Bridge Credit: Richard Morris

The London Air Ambulance is celebrating 25 years of service. Since the charity launched in 1988, the trauma team have helped more than 30,000 critically injured people in the capital.

The charity is reliant on donations to maintain its service and hopes to recruit more emergency service workers to extend its daylight flying hours during the summer months.

Work begins on hospital helipad

The largest crane in Europe has been put up in South London, as work begins on a new helipad for a hospital in Tooting.

St George's will become the second hospital in the capital to have an emergency landing pad.

It will give victims of major trauma - like road accidents, falls and stabbings - faster access to potentially life-saving treatment.

Ria Chatterjee reports.

Patients will be able to get treatment more quickly

The new helipad - London's second and the first in South London - will support air ambulances bringing the most seriously injured casualties for emergency treatment at St George's, which provides the Major Trauma Centre for the South West London and Surrey Trauma Network.

Heather Jarman, Clinical Director for Major Trauma at St George's Hospital told us which patients will benefit from the new helipad.

New helipad will save lives of Londoners

The building of the helipad on St George's Hospital Credit: ITN

The helipad will help save the lives of people living, working and commuting in London by significantly reducing transfer times to the Major Trauma Centre at St George's Hospital.

Patients with serious injuries, such as those caused by road accidents, shootings, stabbings, major burns and falls from height can be treated more quickly, rather than being taken to hospitals further afield, often flying over St George's.

The HELP Appeal, which has provided a grant of £1 million towards the construction of the helipad at St George's Hospital, is a charity established by the County Air Ambulance Trust.

It relies entirely on charitable donations and is raising much needed funds to help finance helipad facilities at key emergency departments across the county.

The Appeal provides non-repayable grants to hospitals looking to build their own helipads or update existing facilities.

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