Stephen Timms has visited London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) at the new helipad on the roof of the state-of-the-art Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Mr Timms met with LAA Executive Director, Dr Julian Thompson, to see the new helipad where the service began operating from in December 2011 and to hear how they are preparing themselves for the 2012 Olympic Games.
London’s Air Ambulance provides trauma care to victims of road traffic accidents, industrial accidents and victims of violent crime, treating over 2,000 critically injured Londoners every year. Since LAA was established in 1989 they have cared for 26,000 patients.
The public enquiry on the 7/7 bombings – recognising the contribution to saving lives of teh air ambulance on that day – recommended last year that the funding for the service should be put on a much more secure footing. Dr Thompson has been appointed to take that recommendation forward, and aims to expand the service – ideally with the purchase of a second helicopter , so that there will always be one available even when maintenance is being carried out. The crucial contribution of the service is getting a doctor to seriously injured people fast – very often saving lives as a result.
Speaking after his visit Mr Timms said: “London’s Air Ambulance and its crew clearly do a vitally important job. We live in a world class city and LAA is on a mission to deliver our citizens with a world class service. With the world watching London later this year and the increase in visitors to the city for the Olympics they face a challenging and important year. I would like to thank them for all they do and encourage people to support the service in any way they can.”