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Revealed: The rising costs of air ambulance missions

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The charity said the number of road traffic accidents it attends is rising each year – and so is the amount of money needed to provide its service.

Each air ambulance mission costs £2,500, which is funded entirely through donations by communities and local businesses.

A new campaign has now been launched called Drive4Life, which aims to raise awareness of the work the charity does and bring in more donations.

Ian Roberts, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Due to the nature of our operation, and the ability to bring enhanced pre-hospital care to the roadside, the critical care paramedics and doctors often called out to some of the most badly injured patients involved in road-related incidents.

“Unfortunately, there is an upward trend in the number of road traffic collisions we attend year on year, which has a cost impact on the charity.”

Figures released by the charity show that in 2015 it attended 493 road accidents, which cost £1.232million . That rose a year later to 541 at a cost of £1.352 million. There was a further 23 per cent increase in 2017, which equated to almost two per day and cost £1.7million. This year so far the Midland Air Ambulance has attended 405 accidents at a cost of £1.012million, a figure that is expected to rise substantially with the onset of winter.

The charity has helicopters operating from Cosford, Tatenhill in Staffordshire and close to the M5 Strensham services in Worcestershire.

Sofia Voutianitis, corporate partnerships manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said the new fundraising drive was vital if it was to keep up with rising demand for its services.

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She said: “Having the very best clinical care gives patients the best chance of survival and full recovery, which is why Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s support at an incident scene is so vital in an emergency.

“Due to the rising number of road accidents the aircrew attend each year, the cost to the charity is naturally on the rise too. As a service which operates solely on donations, it is extremely important we continue to raise funds to ensure we can respond to these patients whenever we’re needed.

“Drive4Life therefore aims to highlight why it is so important to support us, and as part of the campaign, we are working alongside long-standing corporate partner, M6 Toll, to encourage car dealerships to get involved and donate to us, every time they sell a vehicle.”

James Hodson, director of motorway operations at M6 Toll, added: “While statistically the M6 Toll is one of the safest motorways in the UK, we are always grateful for the lifesaving support of the Midlands Air Ambulance when accidents do occur.

“We are so proud to support this valuable campaign, helping to communicate vital road safety messages to drivers across the Midlands and beyond.”

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