Increased demand for our lifesaving work during 2023

Wiltshire Air Ambulance undertook 1,167 missions across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas in 2023, which represents a 10.6% increase on the previous year.

Tuesday, 09 January 2024

A critical care doctor in an air ambulance, looking out the window to see a rainbow

The charity’s helicopter was used for 646 (55%) of the missions, with the remaining 521 incidents attended by critical care cars.

A total of 292 patients were transferred to local hospitals (up from 263 in 2022), the majority of which to Royal United Hospital, Bath (85), Southmead Hospital, Bristol (69) and Great Western Hospital, Swindon (57).

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s safety and ground operations manager Richard Miller said: “We have a very dedicated aircrew – consisting of pilots, critical care paramedics and doctors – who respond to emergencies, on average, three times a day, 365 days a year.

“These latest statistics show the need for our lifesaving service has sadly increased in the past 12 months and we could not do it without the amazing donors and local businesses who help raise the funds required to keep our air ambulance flying and saving lives.

As it says on the side of the helicopter, we are funded by you, flying for you, and we are extremely grateful for all the support we receive from the people of Wiltshire and Bath."

Richard Miller, safety and ground operations manager

The largest number of call outs were to cardiac emergencies – 274, which equates to around a quarter of all missions. There were 231 road traffic collisions attended, plus 237 medical emergencies, 60 sporting incidents and 47 assaults.

A total of 157 incidents involved children, while 34% of all missions (397) took place at night.

A yellow and green Bell-429 helicopter coming in to land in a field.

The largest number of incidents Wiltshire Air Ambulance responded to were in the Swindon area – 181. The charity attended 96 missions in Bath, 85 in Chippenham and 70 in Salisbury.

Other areas where the team were called to attend include: Amesbury - 14; Bradford-on-Avon - 13; Calne - 25; Chippenham - 85; Corsham - 24; Cricklade - 3; Devizes - 65; Malmesbury - 18; Marlborough - 32; Melksham - 51; Pewsey - 11; Royal Wootton Bassett - 17; Tisbury - 1; Tidworth - 6; Trowbridge - 68; Warminster - 38 and Westbury - 28.

The aircrew were also tasked to incidents outside of its operational patch, including in counties such as Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Worcestershire. In total, 24.6% of the incidents were outside of Wiltshire and Bath.

Two paramedics walking away from the helicopter towards a staged incident in a field

View our 2023 mission stats

In 2023 we undertook 1,167 missions.

2023 proved a busy year for our aircrew, as we saw a 10.6% increase of missions across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas,

See how many times we were called out to your area by clicking the mission map below.

View our mission map


Did you know?

It costs £4.5 million a year to keep the air ambulance flying. We receive no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants, so rely on generous donations from the public and local businesses to continue our lifesaving service.