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Old 10th Jan 2017, 12:58   #1 (permalink)
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Air ambulance plans for new centre of excellence base in Teesside

The Great North Air Ambulance charity are asking for donations towards building their new base next to DTV Airport.
The new centre has been approved by the charities trustees and is waiting for planning permission.

The charity has been given 1m through the government Libor funding towards the centre.

Great North Air Ambulance submits plans for new 3.9m base on Teesside - Gazette Live
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 13:50   #2 (permalink)
 
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Would love to see the detailed justification for this major expansion - saving 'tens of thousands of pounds' by spending 3.9m (2.9 of which is charitable donations) seems a very poor return, especially if it might affect the 'financial stability' of the charity in the meantime.

Does an Air Ambulance provider really need a 'centre of medical excellence' to do research or is this an over ambitious CEO empire-building?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 14:02   #3 (permalink)
 
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More space needed for trollies?
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 08:31   #4 (permalink)
 
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You have to love the self promotion of establishing or self declaring a 'centre of excellence'. There must be several of those already in UK HEMS. But the cheek to say it will increase life-saving. I'm sorry but absolute h@rsesh1t. Just another excuse for spending more money in order to gain more. Just like elsewhere spending an extortionate amount of funds raised on an almost useless and increasingly unfavoured and unsupported airframe just because that's what was raised by the public when similar can now be got for 1/10th of the price in the UK. Some of these charities require closer scrutiny. Ooops, think I said the quiet part loud again....
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 14:35   #5 (permalink)
 
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Does anybody know how much it cost's to operate out of MME each year? Why would they need space for three aircraft when two are going to be based elsewhere!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 14:47   #6 (permalink)
 
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Would love to see the detailed justification for this major expansion - saving 'tens of thousands of pounds' by spending 3.9m
Its the same reason as the current trend for larger helicopters and 2 pilot operation (and the subsequent increase in wages).
The charities are raising more money than the operations side can spend. They are limited to what they can bank, so there comes a point when a big expenditure is forced upon them by the charities commission, whether it is needed or not.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 15:33   #7 (permalink)
 
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And that is despite paying some CEOs rock-star wages. Perhaps they could put their excesses in to support the NHS while it is 'in crisis'.

What would the donating public say if they realised that money was being spent just for the sake of it - very short-sighted planning.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 19:15   #8 (permalink)
 
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When the Daily Express agreed to fund HEMS at the London Hospital, the Departments of Health agreed to fund the relevant staff - not only the flight doctors, but radiologists, surgeons and anesthetists, to provide a trauma centre.

It is sad that 30 years later this rather sensible idea has been forgotten. Agreed, the words 'centre of excellence' are drivel, but if we have a serviceable HEMS it is about time we look further down the patient pathway in today's NHS - no point bringing in critically ill patients by air to put them on a trolley in the corridor....I suspect ministers wouldnt get the same publicity from putting the money where it could do some use, but the charities could be more beneficial by looking downstream rather than buying more bells and whistles
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 19:48   #9 (permalink)
 
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sky Sports

Right on the nose with your assessment

A runaway gravy train
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Old 13th Jan 2017, 12:25   #10 (permalink)
 
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But if the level of donations falls, they could be left with a large capital expenditure to pay for along with a more complex and expensive fleet to run - there could be trouble ahead.

More short-termism.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 10:06   #11 (permalink)
 
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I think the point is that the majority of UK HEMS operations can mark time and go back to an earlier point in time and still provide an adequate service if donations were to fall away.

The ability to sell the purchased aircraft asset, sell or mortgage the property purchased and do away with the double crew and yet still provide what we now see as an existing good service in times of trouble is an attractive win-win money burner for charities currently well placed.

The downside of that strategy is that it is more efficient and tends to reduce overall costs which creates more [surplus] funds. This then faces [some] charities with a future where they will need to build things like 'Centres of Excellence' and the such that are money spinners.....

This does not apply to some of the weaker UK HEMS like Great Western as their reserves are currently low. Also in particular Northern Ireland - that is entirely dependent on Libor money until the charity gets its act together and raises funds. It might be difficult for them as they are hitting the road running with more than enough Libor funds in the Stormont bank to operate for a long time. Most charities started with nothing and were 'hungry' to succeed and raise funds .... how do you recreate hunger with 4M in the bank?

The mystery in this case is why GNAA did not take the new aircraft route. Their AS365 fleet works pretty well but it is old and inefficient.

If they cannot afford a new fleet .... they only have 4M in the bank ... why go for bricks and mortar when the core business is promoted as flying?

All of the charities are different and you can make an unscientific judgement on which of them have the more efficient fundraising strategies by what they fly, what they own and what they have left in the bank.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 10:18   #12 (permalink)
 
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If newer doubled crewed aircraft were purchased, would they be able to fly during darkness?
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 10:25   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
an attractive win-win money burner for charities
well I would certainly stop donating if I thought this was going on - perhaps the charities commission needs to look closer at what is going on.

Perhaps even the idea of pooling the charitable donations across the UK and divvying it up so everyone gets the same service - a National Ambulance service.........
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 10:25   #14 (permalink)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldart View Post
If newer doubled crewed aircraft were purchased, would they be able to fly during darkness?
As far as I'm aware there has never been a direct connection between single/double crew and night flying per se.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 15:35   #15 (permalink)
 
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Here's a crazy idea if they've too much money. Given HEMS pilots in UK are often single pilot IFR now how about paying the wages equivalent to the single pilot IFR sector, same goes for multi-crew. Then there wouldn't be such a struggle to survive so much for those actually doing a tough job. Specialist in Gloucester only pay IFR NVG captain's somewhere in the 50k's, Bond similar, Sloane just over 60k. And London maybe high 60k-70k at a push. It's utterly disgusting especially given the wages the charity senior staff often take home. So if there's so much floating about.... This is especially true for directly employed pilots who have had the senior consultants earning double or triple their wages whilst at times hitching free lifts in the aircraft but pilots not getting increases even in line with them percentage wise.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 15:52   #16 (permalink)
 
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It can be cost effective though. My old Police Air Unit based on the old Filton Airfield, (now closed and sold for development) were given their marching orders by the new developers, as were the Great Western Air Ambulance unit, mentioned by PA News above. They were both forced to look for a new site, but quickly realised that they both operated EC135's, both required similar maintenance and administrative support etc and all the other add on's that units need, so agreed to form a combined unit. Still entirely separate from each other but combining premises and everything else apart from operational matters.
Now that seems a good way of giving a good bank for the buck to me!

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Old 14th Jan 2017, 16:04   #17 (permalink)
 
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Given HEMS pilots in UK are often single pilot IFR now how about paying the wages equivalent to the single pilot IFR sector, same goes for multi-crew.
Because for every HEMS pilot in the UK, there are 50 other pilots who would do their job for less money. And most HEMS pilots are ex-mil and hence, have an ex-mil pension and didn't pay a penny for their training (ie zero training debts).
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 18:18   #18 (permalink)


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Don't see the point in this personally. Hospitals do the operating, heli's get the casualty there. What will this centre add that isn't already at their existing base? Dyson blade hand dryers?
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 22:27   #19 (permalink)
 
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Because for every HEMS pilot in the UK, there are 50 other pilots who would do their job for less money. And most HEMS pilots are ex-mil and hence, have an ex-mil pension and didn't pay a penny for their training (ie zero training debts).
But they are generally very well trained, got to be pilots because they passed a stringent selection and testing process, have served their country in some pretty unpleasant places and usually don't have anything like the amount of pension you think they do.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 23:06   #20 (permalink)

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Spot On

crab,

Well said.

NEO
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