VAT refunds for air ambulances

As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor is to announce VAT refunds for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities alongside £7.5 million extra support for air ambulances.

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The new rescue helicopter that can land on the roof of the Bristol Royal Infirmary

The new air ambulance lands on the BRI's helipad Credit: ITV News

The West now has a bigger, faster air ambulance. Crucially it can land on the helipad at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Gloucestershire Royal, which will save vital minutes transferring patients.

The old aircraft wasn't powerful enough to be allowed to land or take off from there.

The new helicopter is bigger and faster than its predecessor Credit: ITV News
It may eclipse its predecessor but it also costs half a million pounds more per year to run Credit: ITV News

New air ambulance struts its stuff for the cameras

The new Great Western Air Ambulance has taken flight - if only a metre or so above ground.

The helicopter was showing off what it can do in front of the press pack at Filton Airfield.

The £250,000 craft brings the service into the 21st century and means it can use the new helipad at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, allowing its patients immediate access to the hospital.


New air ambulance is revealed

The new air ambulance on show at Filton Airfield Credit: ITV West

The Great Western Air Ambulance Trust has unveiled its new helicopter.

The previous aircraft was designed in 1958 and wasn't powerful enough to be allowed to land or take off on an elevated helipad.

But the £250,000 EC135 will be able to land at the new helipad at Bristol Royal Infirmary, saving 20 mins patient transfer time.

It will serve Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and parts of West Wiltshire - an area with around 2.1 million people.

New air ambulance to be unveiled in Bristol

The GWAAC will say goodbye to its existing ageing helicopter. Credit: ITV News West Country

Great Western Air Ambulance is unveiling its new helicopter at its Filton Airfield base today.

The EC135 cost £250,000 - paid for by donations as the charity doesn't receive any Government or lottery funding, and will serve an area with a population of more than 2 million people.

Unlike its ageing predecessor, the new helicopter will be able to land on the helipad at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

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