London Air Ambulance calls for Londoners' support in face of £6m five-year income shortfall

  Posted: 04.05.21 at 16:30 by Ellie Brown

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London Air Ambulance has released new data about its life-saving work as it faces a six-million income shortfall in the next five years.

The service treated 14 critically injured people in Richmond Upon Thames last year, new data released by the service shows.

In total, the air ambulance's advanced trauma teams came to the aid of 1494 patients in 2020.

Haringey (with 79 patients), Southwark (with 76) and Greenwich (70) were the busiest London boroughs.

More than a third of the incidents attended by the air ambulance were injuries related to shootings or stabbings, with a quarter from road accidents and 22% related to falls from a height.

The service has kept going over the pandemic but suffered financially after the fundraising activities it typically relies on were cancelled due to social distancing restrictions.

A map of air ambulance missions in London by borough for the year 2020 (Image: London Air Ambulance)

These included its annual Abseil event, which the previous year raised £132,000, and the London Marathon, expected to raise approximately £82,000.

Although London Air Ambulance works in partnership with two NHS Trusts, it relies primarily on charitable donations for its funding and is facing a six million funding gap in the next five years.

Each mission costs £2,048 on average, and per year it takes £11 million to run the service.

Earlier this week, a petition calling for the UK's air ambulance services to be funded by the government was

During the debate, the Minister of State for Health praised the service, but the government's initial response back in 2019 showed strong support for the charitable model.

The London air Ambulance lands at Kings Cross Underground station in support with the Fire and road Ambulance service attending an incident, to air lift a patient to Royal London Hospital, 2009 (Image: Simon Lamrock)

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of the London's Air Ambulance Charity, said: "When London calls, our teams are on the front line, racing across the city to reach the capital’s most critically injured patients in need of life-saving care at the scene.

"During the pandemic 1494 patients still needed the expert clinical care that only London’s Air Ambulance can provide.

"We are so grateful to our crews and to our supporters for enabling us to be there when those 1494 people needed us the most. When London calls, we can be there because of you."

“However the effect 2020 has had on our finances is sizeable as we were forced to stop many of our usual fundraising activities.

"This impact will be felt for years to come - we forecast a £6 million gap in our income over the next five years. We need the support of Londoners now more than ever to keep our service flying.”

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