AIR ambulances in the North West will soon move bases to two of the region’s hospitals — so that doctors can now fly out to trauma incidents.
The North West Air Ambulance charity (NWAS) currently has a helicopter based at Blackpool Airport, and another at the City Airport, Manchester.
Now, as part of a £250,000 investment, the bases will shift to the University Hospital of South Manchester, Wythenshawe, and to the Royal Preston Hospital.
Charity bosses said the reconfiguration will mean qualified doctors will now travel onboard to incidents which require specialist clinical care on scene.
The charity is the first air ambulance service outside of London to operate from hospital helipads.
Lynda Brislin, chief executive of the North West Air Ambulance charity, said:“A patient will no longer have to wait until their arrival at hospital to have access to the highest quality clinical care – instead this will be available to them in their time of extreme need.
“Being based at key trauma hospitals and having expert clinicians on hand for serious incidents will help to further increase patients’ life chances.
“We are committed to continuously enhancing our service but, as a charity, developments of this nature come at a significant cost and would not be possible without the support and generosity of the North West public.”
Sean Hughes, medical director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “As the regional major trauma centre for Lancashire and South Cumbria, we are delighted to be providing a base for the North West Air Ambulance.
“This will enable us to take key members of our team direct to incident scenes.
“Which will help us to provide the best possible care for major trauma patients by providing quicker access to the highest quality clinical skills.”
The North West Air Ambulance charity needs to raise in excess of £4.2m each year in order to keep its two air ambulances flying to incidents and helping to saving lives of trauma patients.