The most significant increase in tasked incidents was to children and teenagers in urgent need. In 2021, 14% of GWAAC’s total call-outs were to children and teenagers. That’s almost two in every ten of GWAAC’s call-outs to South Gloucestershire and B&NES, and more than one in ten call-outs to Bristol, Gloucestershire, and North Somerset. Dispatches to children and teenagers doubled from 7% in the preceding years.
Alfie needed GWAAC when he was three years old. His Mum, Becky, said: “If it wasn’t for this fabulous team, Alfie would not be with us today.”
The air ambulance and critical care service, which is charity funded, provides emergency medical care to the most seriously ill or injured in the region.
GWAAC’s crew of Critical Care Doctors, Advanced Practitioners and Specialist Paramedics bring the expertise of a hospital emergency department to the scene of an incident. These skills can make the difference between life and death. From roadside blood transfusions to performing emergency surgery to anaesthesia, the crew is specially trained to deliver pre-hospital emergency care to both children and adults.
The increasing demand for GWAAC’s service means the charity needs to raise over £4 million a year to remain operational, yet it receives no day-to-day funding from the Government or National Lottery, relying on the generosity and support from local communities.
“Having experienced our second busiest year on record and with higher than average call-outs to children, I feel very proud of the crew. They have once again shown resilience and courage, and continue to put themselves on the frontline whilst making patients the heart of everything they do.”
Anna Perry, CEO, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.