Despite the fact they’re part of the regional 999 service, the Great Western Air Ambulance is not funded by the NHS. The air ambulance is a charity and relies entirely on donations of at least £3m a year to function. In June of this year, the air ambulance celebrated ten years of service, having attended to 2.1 million people across the South West.
The service exists to deal with emergencies that require the specialist care that only GWAA can offer, provided by their team of ‘flying doctors’ who can carry out hospital-level care from the helicopter, as well as giving access to specialist medication and equipment an ambulance can’t, such as blood and plasma. The team work 365 days a year, prioritising fast and efficient responses to emergencies.
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity have recently exceeded their fundraising target, raising £1.3m, to purchase a new air base in Almondsbury, which they were able to move into in October after a decade on Filton Airfield.
The new base will allow the team to have access to the facilities they need to carry out their service as effectively as possible, including a state-of-the-art training room, air operations room and a car port for their two critical vehicles, ensuring they can provide life-saving service long into the future.
Find out more about the work of the Great Western Air Ambulance by visiting www.greatwesternairambulance.com