9-Jan-2023 Source: Great North Air Ambulance
Since 2015 a paramedic and doctor team from GNAAS has been operating on an all-night rapid response vehicle to help deliver care to the most ill or injured people across the North East.
The service was originally commissioned by the North East Ambulance Service and operated on Friday and Saturday nights, but after seeing a high demand during the two busiest nights of the week, we decided to fund a further two nights in 2018.
It has been a long-term ambition for the charity to cover every night of the week so that no matter when someone is in need, the team are able to respond.
The charity has been working hard to fund the additional nights and the new year marks a huge moment in being able to provide this.
Dr Chris Smith, medical director at GNAAS, said: “I’m really excited to announce that GNAAS are now providing a 24/7 service in the North East. This means every night we will have a paramedic and doctor team on a rapid response vehicle ready to deliver care to the people in the North East.
“The car carries the same equipment as our aircraft, so we can deliver blood, anaesthetic procedures and other advanced treatments that are normally delivered while operating on the helicopter.”
Last year GNAAS’ critical care team were deployed 538 times on the car to incidents across the North East, including road traffic collisions, assaults and cardiac arrests.
With the expansion of the service to cover seven nights, the team will be responding to even more incidents, but this achievement is only sustainable with the continued support of the public.
David Stockton, chief executive officer at GNAAS, said: “Becoming a 24/7 service has been a long-term goal of the charity, and a personal ambition of myself, so we’re very proud to finally see it come to fruition in the North East.
“Our team can now deliver a high level of pre-hospital care to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we’re hoping to be able to offer the same service in Cumbria in the near future.”
It currently costs the charity £7.7m per year to keep the service operational, but in order to provide a 24/7 service across the whole of the North, they will need to raise additional money.
David added: “We’re grateful for everyone who has either donated or fundraised for our charity over the last 20 years, as they have enabled us to reach this fantastic milestone, among many other significant milestones along the way.
“We understand that times are tough for many people at the moment, and that there are so many worthy causes, but if you value the work that we do, and are able, then please consider supporting GNAAS to ensure we can continue saving people’s lives and keeping families together across the region.”