Great North Air Ambulance Service reveals its busiest year on record

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The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) had its busiest year on record after responding to more than 2,100 incidents in 2023.

This is an increase of over 260 incidents compared to 2022’s figures and is a consequence of the charity’s expansion of its service.

At the start of January 2023, GNAAS began operating seven nights a week in the North East and later that year extended their night-time service in Cumbria to four nights.

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The charity currently provides air ambulance services across the region, mainly in hours of daylight, while on a night-time, from 8pm to 8am, the team transfer to a rapid response vehicle.

Great North Air Ambulance Service chief executive David Stockton. Picture: Stuart Boulton.Great North Air Ambulance Service chief executive David Stockton. Picture: Stuart Boulton.
Great North Air Ambulance Service chief executive David Stockton. Picture: Stuart Boulton.

The car carries the same life-saving equipment as its airborne counterpart and is staffed by a highly skilled paramedic and doctor team who can deliver blood, anaesthetic procedures, and other advanced treatments to critically ill or injured patients.

David Stockton, chief executive officer at GNAAS, said: “We’re very proud of the fact that we have been operating a 24/7 service in the North East for over a year and we’re hoping to replicate this in Cumbria in the coming months.

“Our rapid response vehicles were deployed nearly 300 times more last year in comparison to 2022. This is a direct result of our night-time expansion and just proves how vital it is for our team to be able to deliver a high level of pre-hospital care to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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In total, the charity’s critical care teams responded to 2,124 incidents.

The bulk of incidents were road traffic collisions, followed by cardiac arrests, falls and assaults.

Mr Stockton added: “As a charity, we do not receive government funding, and must therefore raise £8.5m per year to keep the service operational.

“While it has been challenging to raise funds over the past few years, with factors such as Covid, the war in Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis impacting us, I just want to say how truly thankful we are to those who have either donated or fundraised for GNAAS.”

To find out more about how you can support the charity visit: gnaas.com or call 01325 487263.