Health Minister Stephen Hammond has invited air ambulance charities in England to apply for a new £10 million fund for upgraded equipment and facilities.
The £10 million in capital funding will help air ambulance charities to invest in new equipment and upgrade facilities to support them in providing vital services to patients across England.
Air ambulance services are not NHS funded. They are provided by 18 charitable organisations across England, with most of their resources supported by their own fundraising activities.
The 18 air ambulance charities in England will be able to bid for the additional funding specifically to support capital projects. This could include:
- buying state-of-the-art medical equipment for critical care teams
- modernising helicopters and helipads
- increasing the number of missions flown or extending the hours services are available
- expanding operational facilities to allow them to hire more highly skilled staff
Each charity will be able to bid for up to £2 million of grant funding. Air ambulance charities will also be able to partner with NHS Trusts to make joint bids, for example to modernise helipads that are owned by the hospital trust.
Paula Martin, Chairman of the Association of Air Ambulances, said: “It’s a very exciting time for the air ambulance community and the opportunity to bid for a grant to help enable significant capital projects is very welcome. Whilst public purse funding being made available for the first time is very exciting, the operating cost for every air ambulance charity and the lifesaving work that it does continues to be entirely dependent on public donations and traditional fundraising.”
“Air ambulance charities in England are poised to submit a diverse range of applications to help fund capital projects which will deliver good value for money and most importantly benefit the patients and communities they serve.”