The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance crew have responded to more than 1,400 missions in 2021, in what has been the busiest year in the charity’s history.
This figure is a significant leap compared to 1,095 in 2020 and 877 in 2019, and shows just how much has changed for the charity. Each mission has cost an average of £3,500.
The addition of a second helicopter in the summer came in response to an anticipated surge in visitors to the Lincolnshire coast as lockdown measures eased. This contributed to the rise in call-outs as it became the busiest summer the charity had ever had.
Throughout the year additional, highly skilled doctors and paramedics have joined LNAA with some travelling from Aberdeen, Kent, and even Lisbon in Portugal to be part of the team. This means that by September, crews were able to respond day and night using a mix of the helicopter and critical care cars.
The charity teams and crew also moved into a new purpose-built headquarters in Lincoln – HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) Way- in the summer. And the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance celebrated the official opening in September when the HRH The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, opened the building.
The clinical and aviation operation had previously been based at RAF Waddington with the staff situated in Bracebridge Heath, so the development of HEMS Way gave everyone the opportunity to be under one roof for the first time.
Another stride in clinical care came with the introduction of blood plasma. Blood was already carried on board but plasma was added because it is the component of blood that helps it to clot, which is integral to the care given at the scene of a traumatic incident, anywhere within the 3,500 square miles LNAA covers.
CEO Karen Jobling said: “Just like many other charities, we went into 2021 not knowing what to expect. We had projects that were underway before the first lock-down so we had to dig in and keep going on those fronts, keeping in mind that they were all foundations for the future of the charity. This is what has enabled us to reach more patients this year.
“Our crews continue to be out there and, just like their NHS colleagues, they are dealing with the added pressure and complexity the spread of COVID brings. The only difference is that we are there purely because of the generous donations we receive from our communities.”
She added: “We are so pleased that we have been able to be there for more patients in 2021. Of course, with each mission costing on average £3,500, it comes at a cost.
“It is only because of the generosity of our supporters that more patients have been helped by a crew with the highest skills and standards in pre-hospital care. Everyone here at LNAA would like to send all of our wonderful supporters our whole-hearted thanks.”