Wiltshire Air Ambulance visit Westminster
Thursday, 09 March 2023
Hosted by Stephen Metcalfe MP in the Terrace Pavilion, it was a chance for all air ambulance charities to gather and raise awareness to key figures and dignitaries about the importance of their lifesaving work.
New Wiltshire Air Ambulance trustees Graham Seaman and Nick Charlton were joined at the event by the charity’s deputy director of income generation Rebecca De La Bedoyere and senior marketing and communications manager Adam Baker.
There was a chance to meet with James Gray MP, who has held the constituency of North Wiltshire since 1997.
Air Ambulances UK chief executive Simmy Akhtar spoke at the event to set out a list of key issues and challenges facing the industry.
This included the increase in demand for air ambulance services and additional increased costs, leading AA UK to request support for future Government grants and capital funding, as well as support to secure a lower cost of fuel.
She also requested support from MPs to open up discussions with NHS England to secure a safe access to patient data. This would allow Air Ambulance charities to provide the highest level of patient care, including the opportunity to follow up with patients after they leave air ambulance care and support patients in after-care more effectively.
Finally, AA UK were keen to stress to Government the need for access to an on-site helipad at every Major Trauma Centre in the UK, and to be listed as a key stakeholder in consultation for future hospital builds.
Ms Akhtar said: "We were delighted to host the Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons for the first time since 2019, due to the impact of Covid-19. It was wonderful to see so many parliamentarians attend to support the lifesaving work of air ambulance charities.
"It demonstrates MPs and Ministers regard for the air ambulance community and the vital role that the sector plays in the Urgent and Emergency Care System.Thank you to all those who attended and we look forward to working with key stakeholders on key challenges and issues facing our sector."
Also at the event, former Thames Valley Air Ambulance patient Paul Dilley, from Berkshire, told the story of how he was saved by medics after suffering a heart attack.
Air Ambulances UK exists to champion, support and represent the vital work of Air Ambulance charities at a national level. Find out more about the charity on their website: www.airambulancesuk.org.