4 Jul 2019

Doctor and paramedic looking at the skyline

We have sadly treated our 40,000th patient.

Since the inception of our service in 1989, our charity has provided hospital-level care at scene to critically injured patients across the capital. We operate alongside Barts Health NHS Trust and London Ambulance Service, who provide the medical staff and some infrastructure.

Gareth Grier, Lead Clinician at London’s Air Ambulance said:

It is incredibly humbling to pause and reflect on the 40,000 patients that our service has now cared for. The impact of severe injury on our patients and their families is enormous, and there will be people who, despite us trying our absolute hardest, did not make it. Our thoughts are with those patients and with the teams who tried to help them.

“As we reflect, our determination to bring about new interventions that will transform outcomes for our patients in the future is more steadfast than ever. We are absolutely focused on how we help our next 40,000 patients using methods that might have seemed impossible 30 years ago. The work of our charity is crucial, and the incredibly generous contributions of all those who have helped us do our work over the last 30 years is treasured by our whole team.

“On behalf of everyone here, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over 30 years, to enable us to reach 40,000 patients.”

Jackie Sullivan, Chief Executive of The Royal London Hospital, where our team are based, said: 

"It is remarkable to see London's Air Ambulance mark this milestone. We are delighted to be part of such a caring and innovative team which has transformed pre-hospital care and undoubtedly saved many lives. Together we will continue to push boundaries and provide exceptional care for London."

Dr Fenella Wrigley, Chief Medical Officer at London Ambulance Service said:

“We are proud to have dispatched London’s Air Ambulance to respond alongside us over the past three decades in a partnership that provides life-saving aid to the most critically injured patients in the capital each and every day.

“The extended medical skills of the doctors and our paramedics on board are a key aspect of the major advances in trauma care in London in the past decades that have continually improve patients’ chances of survival.”

Our charity is marking our 30th anniversary this year with the campaign 30 Years Saving Lives, of which HRH The Duke of Cambridge is a Patron. Over those 30 years our service has innovated the rapid response care we provide, including performing the world’s first roadside open-heart surgeries and REBOA, pioneering the doctor-paramedic model, and becoming the UK’s first air ambulance to carry blood on board.  

Jess's StoryJess and the team

Jessica was just 25 when she was involved in a serious road traffic collision outside of her house. She sustained multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and needed urgent medical care. London’s Air Ambulance flew to Jess's side and stabilised her at the scene so that she could be safely transported to a major trauma centre. The team airlifted her back to The Royal London Hospital. Jess spent the next six weeks in a coma.  

Nevertheless, Jess has made (and continues to make) an outstanding recovery. She underwent a lengthy rehabilitation process, requiring support from muscular-skeletal and neuro physiotherapists and personal trainers to help repair different aspects of her life and adjust to life with a brain injury.

Jess said: “Visiting the London’s Air Ambulance Charity helipad was so meaningful. Without their initial help mere minutes after my accident, I know I would not be sitting here at all... Their professionalism is truly remarkable, and I will be forever grateful.”

Jess has now written a book about her experiences. ‘Everything is broken’ tells the story of her journey through trauma and rehabilitation, and how she kept going through even the most difficult days. Find out more about the book.

We can only reach our patients because of support like yours; thank you for helping us to be there. 

If you don't already, please donate to support our service and help us save more lives in London.

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