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Children’s to receive £2mil towards second heli

The Children’s Air Ambulance is delighted after the Chancellor announced during the budget that they will receive help to get a second helicopter off the ground.

The charity is a national service that flies critically ill children from local hospitals to specialist paediatric intensive care units. It is the first and only dedicated paediatric helicopter emergency transfer service in the country.

It is a sister service to Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance, which are all run by TAAS.

The Chancellor pledged yesterday to provide £2mil from banking fines towards a second helicopter for their service. This will allow the service, which can currently only reach approximately one in three children who might need it, to meet almost all the need for emergency paediatric helicopter transfers across the country.

Andy Williamson, CEO of The Air Ambulance Service charity, which operates the national Children’s Air Ambulance, said:

“This is fantastic news that the Chancellor is allocating banking fines to help put a second Children’s Air Ambulance in the skies.

“Currently, our service can only reach around one in three patients who need our help.
“With a second helicopter, we should be able to meet nearly all the demand for emergency paediatric transfers from hospitals to specialist centres.

“We look forward to hearing further details about the banking funding and the huge impact it will have on patients and families across the UK,” he said.

The charity works in partnership with six NHS clinical transport teams around the country.

Dr Steve Hancock, the co-lead consultant on Embrace Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Children’s Transport Service, said: “The team at Embrace is delighted that the Chancellor has supported the Children’s Air Ambulance by providing finance for a second helicopter.

“As Embrace have transferred over 60 babies and children in the existing helicopter, we know how much our patients will benefit from a larger, faster aircraft.

“Working together with other specialist NHS transport teams, this development will allow us to provide the highest standard of critical care to our patients across the country.”

On average, two children a day could benefit from our transfer service.

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