• Tue. May 21st, 2024

Thames Valley Air Ambulance marks new milestone

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 14, 2022

Thames Valley Air Ambulance is joining just five other air ambulances to bring its air operations in-house with an Air Operator Certificate.

The charity celebrated the milestone during Air Ambulance Week – September 5-9 – which focused on the ‘critical moments and lifesaving difference’ the 21 air ambulances which operate in the UK make.

Amanda McLean, CEO at Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “Our charity exists to make a lifesaving difference for whoever may need us, whenever they do. Every decision we make as a charity is for the good of the critically ill patients we help.

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“This next step in our evolution as an independent healthcare provider was necessary to ensure we can continue to offer the absolute best care to the people we treat. They deserve the very best, in their moment of need.”

Bringing the aviation operations in-house means Thames Valley Air Ambulance will be directly and legally responsible for all aspects of its operations, and for the compliance and safety of the flight operations and the associated aircraft airworthiness management of the aircraft.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Thames Valley Air Ambulance Photo: Thames Valley Air Ambulance

This will give the charity the power and flexibility to make decisions about the aircraft, based on its own data and working to its own timelines.

The current helicopter, G-TVAL, will be returned to Babcock International at the end of the contract and the charity will then bring in its own aircraft.

The replacement helicopter, G-TVLY, will be kitted out with the same lifesaving equipment it currently uses, and operate from the operations base at RAF Benson.

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Ms McLean added: “Having our own helicopter was part of Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s long-term strategy to ensure we are as patient-centred and efficient as we can be. I was delighted to be able to make this announcement during Air Ambulance Week when we celebrated the real difference our lifesaving charities make for the communities we serve.”

The service receives no regular Government or National Lottery funding and operates as an independent healthcare provider.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Thames Valley Air Ambulance Photo: Thames Valley Air Ambulance

As a charity, the organisation relies on the generosity of its supporters to keep its helicopter in the skies, as well as five Critical Care Response Vehicles on the road.

To explore how you can help this lifesaving local charity, visit tvairambulance.org.uk/donate.

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Thames Valley Air Ambulance provides emergency medical care by air and land to patients in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Critical care paramedics and doctors are highly trained and ready to deal with any emergency.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF