£10 million funding for air ambulance charities

London Air Ambulance

Air ambulance charities in England have been invited to apply for a new £10 million fund to upgrade their equipment and facilities.

Air ambulance services are not NHS funded; they are provided by 18 charitable organisations across England, with most of their resources supported by their own fundraising activities.

The 18 air ambulance charities in England will be able to bid for the additional funding specifically to support capital projects. This could include buying state-of-the-art medical equipment for critical care teams; modernising helicopters and helipads; increasing the number of missions flown or extending the hours services are available; and expanding operational facilities to allow them to hire more highly skilled staff.

Each charity will be able to bid for up to £2 million of grant funding. Air ambulance charities will also be able to partner with NHS Trusts to make joint bids, for example to modernise helipads that are owned by the hospital trust.

The call for bids, developed in collaboration with the Air Ambulance Association, asks air ambulance charities to present proposals to fund projects.

The Department of Health and Social Care will prioritise applications that deliver clear benefits to patients, while ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.

Applications close on 8 March 2019 and funding will be allocated in April this year.

Health Minister Stephen Hammond said: "Air ambulance charities are a vital life-line for people in critical conditions who rely on urgent treatment before they can reach a hospital.

"Generous donations from the public help keep air ambulances in the air and this £10 million will help to ensure that they’re equipped to provide lifesaving care to patients in need.

"The NHS Long Term Plan will improve emergency care for all patients, including those treated by air ambulances charities. Today’s funding recognises their unwavering contribution to our health service and, combined with essential public donations, will ensure these charities can have world-class facilities to match their reputation for world-class care."

 

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