In 1988, The Royal College of Surgeons produced a report which criticised the care that victims of major trauma received in the UK. It documented cases of patients dying unnecessarily because of the delay in receiving prompt and appropriate medical care.
London's Air Ambulance was established to address findings of this report and to find a way to respond quickly in London's increasingly congested roads.
London's Air Ambulance began its operations in 1990 from a temporary base outside central London. There was a great deal of competition from hospitals in London to have the helicopter based at their hospital. The Royal London Hospital was successful in its bid as it was the only multi disciplinary hospital with a site where it would be safe to build a roof top helipad. London's Air Ambulance began to fly from the rooftop at the Royal London on 30th August 1991.
At launch, Express Newspapers put in £3million and this was matched by the Government. For the first ten years, the service existed on Government funding. Fundraising allowed for service developments and shortfalls in government contributions.
London’s Air Ambulance is now supported by the charity which relies heavily on donations from the public and corporate sponsorships. The Charity pays for the helicopter and the cars, the pilots, the firecrew and the charity staff.
The London's Air Ambulance team have been involved in many major incidents, including the train crashes - Cannon Street, Southall and Paddington - the Soho bomb and the July 7th 2005 terrorist attacks on London's transport system when some 18 sorties were carried out by the helicopter to deliver medical care and supplies to the scenes of the incidents.
The service began as a private/public initiative between:
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