Air dependency up



Four South London boroughs feature in the top 10 of most incidents attended by the London Air Ambulance paramedics in 2018, new figures have shown.

Southwark topped the table, with 90 patients treated in emergency call outs last year, which is nearly double the number from the year before.

Lambeth (81), Greenwich (62) and Croydon (60) were also among the top 10 most visited boroughs, with 203 patients between them.

Stabbings and shootings are the most common reason for London’s Air Ambulance to be called out, with 485 reported last year.

Lead Clinician Dr Gareth Grier said: “These statistics show that every day in London five people of all ages and backgrounds are so critically injured that without urgent intervention they could die.

“Thanks to the generous support of Londoners and our partners Barts Health NHS Trust and London Ambulance Service, London’s Air Ambulance can be at the side of these critically injured patients within minutes.

“In 2018, and now into 2019 we continue to see patients who couldn’t have predicted they might suddenly be affected by traumatic injury.

“Severe injury can happen to any one of us at any time, and our team work tirelessly to be ready to help when the time comes for someone to need us.

“We want to provide the best possible care that can be delivered anywhere in the world and try to do this every day.

“We are grateful to all of those who support our work, and hope that people in London will continue helping us achieve our mission to save more lives.

“With their help we can make sure we continue to be there for our patients, wherever and whenever they need us and however they have been critically injured. A positive from the report showed that call-outs to children had reached their lowest for seven years.

Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Thirty years of experience has taught us that trauma doesn’t discriminate. Serious injury can happen to anyone, at any time. It is vital that London knows that, should the worst happen, our medical team can be by their side within minutes, performing critical and often life-saving interventions.

“We hope that by releasing these statistics, people in London will be able to see the scale of our work across the capital, and the way we have helped in their community.

“With our annual costs at £10 million, and an ambitious vision to save even more lives, we have never been more reliant on the generosity of London. I urge people to continue to support our charity as we mark 30 years saving lives in the capital.

“Your help allows us to be there for those who need us most.”

London’s Air Ambulance was founded in 1989 and to date has treated more than 39,000 critically injured people.

Top 10 borough call outs: 1: Southwark (90 patients treated); 2: Islington (85); 3: Tower Hamlets (82); 4: Lambeth (81); 5: Enfield (78); 6: Westminster (77); 7: Haringey (68); 8: Greenwich (62) ; 9: Croydon (60); 10: Camden (58).

Picture: Prince William during a recent visit to the London Air Ambulance Service at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel


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