A 24/7 Air Ambulance for Wales

Thanks to the donations from the people of Wales, the Wales Air Ambulance has achieved its ambition to become a 24/7 service.

From this month, the charity, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2021, will start operating an overnight helicopter. The cost of running a 24/7 operation is £8 million, meaning Wales Air Ambulance must raise an additional £1.5 million per annum.

The helicopter operation is supported by the people of Wales through charitable donations, with the medical capability on board delivered thanks to a unique third sector-public sector partnership between the charity, the Welsh Government and NHS Wales.

This collaboration provides pioneering pre-hospital critical and emergency medical care across Wales, effectively taking the emergency department to the patients; a service that proves vital to the survival rate and emergency treatment of many individuals, including motorcyclists, involved in road traffic collisions in Wales.

Made up of senior NHS Wales doctors and critical care practitioners, personnel can deliver critical emergency treatments not routinely available outside the hospital environment. They include surgical procedures, blood transfusions and emergency anaesthesia.

The need for an overnight Wales Air Ambulance was identified following detailed research into life or limb-threatening emergencies that took place outside the services’ operational hours of 8am to 8pm. Over a 12-month period, there were approximately 990 cases of ‘unmet need’ and the demand was most prevalent in South-East Wales.

Professor David Lockey, Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) National Director, said, “This phase of our 24/7 expansion, the introduction of a Wales Air Ambulance charity helicopter, is a huge step forward for both our service, and for pre-hospital care in Wales. This has been made possible thanks to the ongoing work and partnership between the public and third sectors, as well as the people of Wales who support the charity.”

For more information and for ways to support the Wales Air Ambulance charity, please visit:

Thursday, 03 December 2020