Bank fines boost Midlands Air Ambulance by £1m

FINES imposed in the wake of the Libor bank rate rigging scandal are to benefit one of the Midlands’ most high profile charities.

The Midlands Air Ambulance is to be awarded £1m from the banking fines to enable the organisation to place an order for an upgraded helicopter air ambulance to support patients within the six counties it serves.
 
The charity covers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire.

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 £7m.”
 
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 strategic decision to purchase a larger helicopter and lease just one further aircraft to further develop its clinical and operational service in advanced pre-hospital patient care. This will improve the charity’s long term resilience and sustainability by further reducing overall operating costs.
 
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.
 
“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,” added Ms Sebright.
 
The announcement follows extensive lobbying by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the Association of Air Ambulances. The additional air ambulance charities who were awarded money 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.