Midlands Air Ambulance to order new helicopter after £1 million grant

Midlands Air Ambulance is set to order a new helicopter, after being given a grant of £1 million.

The Midlands Air Ambulance

It was announced in the autumn statement that the charity, which has a base at RAF Cosford, would be given the money by the Government from the banking fine.

It will now use those funds to put towards a new air ambulance to join its fleet.

Hanna Sebright, chief executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “The injection of funds via the banking fine comes as very welcome news at the charity as it will help further enhance our vitally important emergency service.

"The allocation has enabled us to place an order for an upgraded H145 helicopter, which will cost in total approximately £7 million.”

The charity currently owns one EC135 helicopter, based at RAF Cosford in Shropshire and leases two further EC135 models from Babcock Mission Critical Services, based at Tatenhill airfield in Staffordshire and Strensham Services on the M5 in Worcestershire.

The organisation has made the decision to purchase a larger helicopter and lease only one in future to enable it to develop its clinical and operational service in pre-hospital patient care.

It is hoped that this will reduce operating costs, making the charity more sustainable for the future.

The new H145 helicopter provides a great number of benefits including a larger interior so young patients can be flown accompanied by a parent or the elderly with a carer or spouse, and will enable improved medical equipment to be carried on board to treat more complex emergencies.

Hanna added: “The new helicopter will be built over the next 18 months and will become operational in 2018.

"It is positive news for us at the charity and the communities we serve as it will ultimately benefit our patients for generations to come.”

The announcement follows extensive lobbying by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the Association of Air Ambulances.

Other air ambulance charities which were awarded from the banking fine fund were Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, Devon Air Ambulance Trust, Great North Air Ambulance Service Charity, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, MAGPAS Air Ambulance Charity, The Air Ambulance Service, Wales Air Ambulance Charity and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

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