Missions increase in the first half of 2023

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has undertaken 543 missions across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas in the first half of 2023.

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

A photo of two paramedics, carrying kit bags, walking through long grass to the helicopter

It represents a 5.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022, when the aircrew responded to 515 incidents.

The charity’s helicopter was used for 371 (68%) of the missions to date, with the remaining 172 incidents attended by critical care cars.

A total of 151 patients were transferred to local hospitals, the majority of which to Royal United Hospital, Bath (45), Southmead Hospital, Bristol (37) and Great Western Hospital, Swindon (24).

The largest number of call outs were to cardiac emergencies – 146, which equates to around a quarter of all missions. There were 112 road traffic collisions attended, plus 84 medical incidents, 25 sporting injuries, 34 self-harm incidents and 24 assaults.

A total of 68 incidents involved children, while a third (179) of all missions took place at night.

The largest number of incidents Wiltshire Air Ambulance responded to were in the Swindon area – 73, followed by the city of Bath (48 missions) and then Chippenham (40).

Other areas where the team were called to attend emergencies include: Amesbury – 8; Bradford-on-Avon - 8; Calne - 6; Corsham - 9; Devizes - 26; Malmesbury – 7; Marlborough - 16; Melksham - 25; Pewsey - 5; Royal Wootton Bassett - 12; Salisbury - 34; Tidworth - 3; Trowbridge - 32; Warminster - 16 and Westbury - 15.

The aircrew were also tasked to incidents outside of its operational patch, including in counties such as Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Somerset, as well as across in Wales and on the Isle of Wight. In total, 26% of incidents were outside of Wiltshire and Bath.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a charity and receives no regular direct funding from the Government or National Lottery grants. Each year the charity needs to raise £4 million to continue flying and saving lives.

Breakdown of incidents by category 

Cardiac – 27% 
Road traffic collisions – 20.5% 
Falls – 17.5% 
Other medical conditions, including collapses and strokes – 16.5% 
Suicide/self-harm - 6%
Sports (including horse riding) – 4.5%  
Assaults - 4.5%

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