We’re expecting to be more than 50 per cent busier as the start of summer officially begins.
Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and the first day of summer, meaning the charity is entering its busiest period.
Last year between 21 June and 23 September, the critical care team from GNAAS responded to 563 incidents in the North East, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cumbria, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Since 2022, the charity has been awarded a rating of ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission and has made significant progress in its operations.
GNAAS began operating seven nights a week in the North East in January this year and hopes to offer the same level of service in Cumbria in the near future, where it currently operates four nights a week.
Outside the UK, GNAAS has been working alongside Manx Care, based in the Isle of Man, to trial a new service to transfer seriously injured or unwell patients by helicopter from the Isle of Man directly to the UK for emergency medical treatment.
In addition, the charity has employed three dispatchers who monitor emergency calls at their air desk to identify which patients most need GNAAS’ help, and then coordinating an appropriate response alongside the ambulance service.
Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: “In the summer, we’re 52 per cent busier than we are during the winter months and through our improvements in dispatch we’re getting to more patients that really need us, and we’re doing more missions and we’re delivering more critical care.”
The charity does not receive government funding and needs to raise £7.7m a year to remain operational. To help support them during the summer months, they have launched a fundraiser on Facebook and are appealing to the public to donate to GNAAS.
Andy said: “We’re so aware that everybody’s struggling now with the cost of living, and in our sector it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to raise the funds that we need to continue to save lives.
“Aviation fuel for example has trebled in price over the last 18 months, and against this backdrop of rising costs I hope that you’re proud that we’ve been able to deliver 24/7 care in the North East and we’re now operating four nights in Cumbria.
“We will soon be providing 24/7 care across the region but we need your help more than ever.
“We recognize how much everybody is struggling, but no matter what you can do for us, however big or small, it’s gratefully received, and we just want to continue making you proud.”
To donate towards GNAAS’ Facebook fundraiser, visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/815868753018394/