London’s only helicopter emergency service attended to 1,977 patients* last year. The advanced trauma doctors and paramedics treat patients across every part of the capital, with statistics released by the charity today revealing that Westminster (113), Lambeth (111) and Tower Hamlets (103)* were the busiest London boroughs in 2022.
Of those patients, 34% needed pre-hospital care at the scene due to penetrating trauma (which includes accidental causes as well as stabbing and gun shot wounds), 25% due to road traffic collisions and 22% had suffered a fall from height*.
London’s Air Ambulance medics perform life-saving treatment at the scene for those patients who are critically injured with life threatening or life changing injuries. They carry out life-saving procedures such as open chest surgery, blood transfusions, putting patients into an induced coma and reinflating collapsed lungs – anywhere in London, 24 hours a day.
The data has been released as part of London’s Air Ambulance Charity’s fundraising appeal, Up Against Time. The charity must raise £15 million by Autumn 2024 to replace its helicopter fleet as the current helicopters become increasingly difficult to maintain.
The role of our helicopters is to take medics to the patient quickly – providing the complex care patients would get in A&E at the scene – for those that are so critically injured that every moment counts.
As part of the appeal, the charity has launched this film, asking Londoners to fund their new fleet and help keep the life-saving service in our skies for years to come.
Recent polling showed that only 38% of Londoners know that London’s Air Ambulance is primarily funded by public donations. The reality is that as a charity, London’s Air Ambulance relies on 89% of its funding from public donations to be able to save London’s most critically injured**.
Captain Neil Jeffers, Chief Pilot, London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said:
“Last year we attended more missions than ever before, and when we’re up against time, our helicopter fleet and rapid response cars enable us to get to our patients quickly, wherever they are in London.
“Now we’re up against time in a new way, as we need to replace our helicopter fleet by Autumn 2024.
“This mission data shows that our helicopters are here for every single person who lives, visits and works in London. That’s why we’re asking Londoners to help us fund the new fleet – we need their support now more than ever.”
London’s Air Ambulance patient Steve Blake said:
“It is because of London’s Air Ambulance and the speed at which they arrived that I am alive today.
“When you realise the depth of the treatment and the skills they bring to the scene – and the fact they’re a charity – it’s astonishing. Anything I could do to thank them, I would.”
London’s Air Ambulance 2022 Mission Map: