Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

Air Ambulance in UK

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Air Ambulance in UK

Reply

Old 27th Mar 2013, 20:26
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 70
Posts: 1,296
H500 et al

Perhaps as the designer of the original modus operandi of the Cornwall AA I can enlighten you a little.

During the daytime (we are talking 1987) we had 17 emergency ambulances covering the county of Cornwall. At night this reduced to 11. Our problems were many but the main ones were:

1. Clinical - in that we only had 8 extended trained ambulance men (call them paramedics but that title didn't come until years later) so delivering that high level of skill countywide was only possible using the AA.
2. Logistical - when vehicles were sent on a call (all 999 calls had to be responded to in those days) the crew could be taken out of service for anything up to four hours given that our receiving hospitals were so few and located at Truro and Plymouth. During those four hours dealing with what may just be a broken finger or a nosebleed a patient in the now vacant area may suffer a heart attack or stroke. We met this challenge by having a three layered plan - a. HEMS style first responder b. secondary transfer in which the AA rendezvous with the road ambulance at a pre-surveyed site and delivers the patient to hospital leaving the road ambulance inside its normal area. c. tertiary inter-hosital transfer.

Chucking rocks at the AA for carrying low-level injuries has to be a cheap shot but one we expected and were not disappointed. People's ignorance of the realities of running an ambulance service has to be expected but once the situation has been explained most seemed to a accept that a rapid resolution of all 999 calls is the best all-round solution. You never know what the next call will be. The overall efficiency of the service as a whole was our design aim but I observe that this principle is nowadays often sacrificed to satisfy the rock-chuckers and give the AA charity a peaceful time even if this does not serve the public who finance the AA as well as it might.

G
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 07:32
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,516
Geoff

Not throwing rocks, just voicing my concern that the animal is going in a direction that might be come unsustainable ! You started with a BO 105 with a paramedic, relatively cheap to run. We are now going down IFR helicopters, flying at night with NVG's soon I presume, 2 helicopters glass hangers etc etc
I would hate to see it fail, as i think it is wonderful and actively support Devon's as that is where I live.
Hughes500 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 10:41
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: UK
Age: 41
Posts: 1,583
IMHO from what I have seen and heard I believe the Air Ambulance community could do with being more transparent this would go a long way of disprooving the some of the myths and experiences....

The politics don't help either.....

Just for the record I do financially support my local AA.
Brilliant Stuff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 11:37
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Aberdare, Wales
Age: 25
Posts: 174
whitehead06, thank you very much for your response.

Do you think there will ever be publicly funded air ambulances in the UK?

Also, given some of the recent comments, do you think it would be advisable for AA charities to voluntarily submit to annual public audits in order to encourage the supporters?

Do you ever see a time when AA and police ops could merge especially if the observer's role could be ground based by remotely operating the cameras etc. on the helicopter?
HeliStudent is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 11:42
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 70
Posts: 1,296
H500

Point taken. It would seem that where an organisation relies on the word 'charity' that an even bigger word - POLITICS - goes along with it. You need a skin like a rhinoceros to work in those organisations and I found out early on that people that have made a small charitable/voluntary contribution soon feel that they have 'rights' when it comes to running the show.

IMHO the best thing that can happen to UK AA operations is that all have a brilliant idea at the same time and amalgamate with the RNLI who promptly join forces with the NPAS and form the basis of a Homeland Helicopter Service.

(Then, not long afterwards, they take over the HMCG aviation resources and we get what we deserve - a dedicated national resource.)

Oh dear, fantasising again? Must be time to retire!

G
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 18:38
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: london
Posts: 555
Geoffrey makes an interesting observation in at the Cornwall helicopter was designed to allow the ambulance service to meet NHS targets by responding to calls within allocated times. It was merely another resource, in the same way as South Central Ambulance Service use midwives to answer calls.

This is an excellent and worthwhile aim. The problem is that other services have suggested that their helicopter saves lives by doing things that ground resources cannot. With the exception of the London HEMS there is no peer reviewed research that this is the case.

The differing claims and aims makes any national service difficult to establish and so the true integration into the NHS that the medical profession would like to see is not going to happen.

I do have concerns over ever more expensive airframes for Geoffrey's aims. It is difficult to see how the increased cost provides a payback. This not only gives ammunition to opponents but reduces the money available to other healthcare charities as it has been demonstrated that there is a finite sum the public will contribute. Overall therefore this decision may reduce the standard of healthcare in Cornwall.
homonculus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 19:03
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 70
Posts: 1,296
Homonculus

Rather like whitehead I see cost savings and efficiencies arising out of an integrated service. I am not a fan of multi rolling but shared accommodation (please include the Fire Service), and command and control plus economies of scale will enable a more efficient service. Pilots can be shared and other personnel cross-trained (some are already).

Last year I took part in a walk-athon (younger folks did the 10k run - including my eldest daughter) around St Mawgan and I realised just how hard the fund-raisers work to get the funds to help deliver a service for the future and improve it where possible.

As the first HEMS-style AA in the country it's right and proper that Cornwall AA should be up there with the best in the UK. The people of Cornwall have been great supporters and they deserve nothing less. In my time we started with a 12 foot long caravan of dubious origin and advanced in years. To see the new place makes me PROUD - not ashamed, not worried but pleased that for once aircrew doing a vital job have the BEST facilities and not the C**P we normally endure.

Please, join me in my happiness.

G.
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 20:00
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 71
Posts: 1,002
I believe we have to let the HEMS have its head to test the boundaries. Lets face it the police started at a basic level and progressed a decade before the AA's were around.

Then we can only hope that if they find 'it' [any experiment - including Night HEMS] does not work they will have the self confidence to do an about turn.
PANews is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 28th Mar 2013, 20:56
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 70
Posts: 1,296
PA NEWS

Amen to that. It was the philosophy that underpinned our first year.

G.
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 29th Mar 2013, 01:34
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,575
I think the watershed has passed us all by already. The time when there was joined up thinking has long gone.
There is a process out there called Blue Light Air Assets - Future Operations by the RUSI.
This is/was an attempt to pursue this to its logical conclusion and for some individuals it still is an aspiration.
Police/HEMS/Fire/SAR all joined up and talking to each other, sharing assets/provisions, even staff.......beautiful stuff...(in another world perhaps).
The politics have now become so enormous and burdensome that I think the gulf between each asset is now enormous.
The Police have taken a left turn into a cul de sac called: NPAS, because of the 'excuse' to save money.
The Fire Brigade are deeply financially flawed and still reeling from the PFI debacle of building white elephants all around the country that they can't occupy!
The mil have gone civvy.
And the HEMS brigade are completely fragmented, autonomous units each so far up their own charitable backsides, the lights have gone out!

Trying to co-join this lot NOW is like trying to herd cats.

If it had been gripped early enough and years and years ago, it might have resembled logic by now. As it is, in its disjointed fragmented state, it will continue to leech money and effort 3, 4, 5 times that of a national emergency services air force.

The moment has passed.......
Thomas coupling is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 29th Mar 2013, 05:20
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Zealand
Age: 46
Posts: 334
TC Quote, "but your HEMS cover per head of population is probably the best in the world "

TC, sorry to burst your bubble, but NZ definitely and Aus probably have far better HEMS coverage per person than 4 helicopters for 2 million people.

Just thinking about Aus, maybe not, although it would be close to 40 machines for 20 million people, although the land area covered is probably a bit bigger... one of the Aussies on here would have to help on that.

In NZ we must have close to 40 HEMS helicopters for 4 million people! and they are all charity organisations, and have the same issues you guys do... every little area the size of cornwall thinks it needs its own helicopter, and we only have 100,000 or so people to fund it... good luck to them all i say.
SuperF is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 29th Mar 2013, 07:03
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 70
Posts: 1,296
Cool TC

Years ago I forecast that the military would run out of cash and would have to give up some toys - Bristow's success underlines how far that has come.

If we read the runes correctly the process of 'downsizing' the public sector has only just begun. It is just possible that when REAL pressure is brought to bear that others will have to concede that the only was forward for public service aviation assets is consolidation. For me the NPAS is a chink of light in a world devoid of common sense and chock-a-block with self interest.

Let's keep up the rhetoric TC, don't give up so easily. The market is 'coming to us' as an entrepreneur would say.

G.
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 29th Mar 2013, 09:47
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 71
Posts: 1,002
Until quite recently the police service could be described in just those words written byTC and I am of the opinion that NPAS is a reaction to that. What follows is a bit simplistic ... but....

Unfortunately, because the instigators of NPAS were of a certain kind [Civil Servants in the Home Office, ACPO and politicians in the main] they took so long over getting their act together in launching NPAS that by the time it came to be a massive amount of work was already in train to turn around the perceived deficiences of what was in effect still a fragmented group of 'Chief Constables/Police Authority Toys'. The now not so recent purchase of 5 EC135P2, the North West and Midland's operational and purchasing cooperations were just a few of the signs of change and the thwarted second bulk buy centred on West Yorkshire was the next stage.

Even then it might have been OK if the whole plan had not been scuppered at the start gate by the pay review that effectively removed all the peer pressure on the crews that would result in them competing to be in a smaller NPAS. That detail means that a massive number of high quality movers and shakers are gone or going soon.

Last edited by PANews; 29th Mar 2013 at 09:49.
PANews is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 26th Apr 2013, 08:43
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,425
Cost-Effectiveness of Helicopter Transport of Trauma Victims Examined

Apr. 25, 2013 Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have for the first time determined how often emergency medical helicopters need to help save the lives of seriously injured people to be considered cost-effective compared with ground ambulances.

The researchers found that if an additional 1.6 percent of seriously injured patients survive after being transported by helicopter from the scene of injury to a level-1 or level-2 trauma center, then such transport should be considered cost-effective. In other words, if 90 percent of seriously injured trauma victims survive with the help of ground transport, 91.6 need to survive with the help of helicopter transport for it to be considered cost-effective.
More: Cost-effectiveness of helicopter transport of trauma victims examined
Savoia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 26th Apr 2013, 12:50
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,575
Surely 1.6% of 90% is not 91.6%?
Thomas coupling is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 26th Apr 2013, 18:14
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: london
Posts: 555
This has been misquoted by the media. if you look at the paper itself it says you have to save 1.6 extra lives per 100 patients. Not per 100 deaths. This means that you have to reduce the overall death rate by 33% if the cost of a year's life saved is $50000

In the UK the value is put a lot lower. That means you have to reduce mortality even further - the cost of the helicopter is the same as in the US or as we all know greater but the saving is less per life saved.

The only objective UK study suggested a saving of as little as five lives per annum per aircraft. On this basis there appears to be a mountain to climb. Indeed unless you move 33% of all likely to die patients by helicopter and save their life in every case you can never meet this target. Fortunately this slightly daft academic exercise is simply that. The real financial reason for HEMS is the massive reduction in other ground resources needed to meet government deadlines in rural areas. The humanitarian reason is the reduction of pain and suffering, equality of care plus the ethos that the public deserve the best possible care regardless of the individual cost:benefit ratio if it has been decided that the care in general should be available.
homonculus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 26th Apr 2013, 19:20
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NutsRshrinkinginice
Posts: 621
Geoffers,

Amen to the death of the caravan... I was the last person to step out of that putrid smelly 3 metre shithole! Circa 1989...

Then we got a brand new portacabin under the wing of the RAF boys on the military side of RAF St.Mawgan, and it came with a real toilet, there's posh!!

Happy days....
griffothefog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 26th Apr 2013, 22:09
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,575
Homonculus: Bang on. Part of the reason the pressure was on for us to train a paramedic to fly onboard was so that we could comply with the regional Ambulance Authority / NHS KPI of being within 6 minutes of various choke points for accidents.

Griffo: what on earth are you on about????????????
Thomas coupling is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 27th Apr 2013, 00:04
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,228
Griffo: what on earth are you on about????????????
Come on TC. Keep up.
MightyGem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2013, 08:55
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,425
According to HeliHub:

Yorkshire Air Ambulance MD902 AOG for 7 months

10 May, 13

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is in a state of flux at present with a combination of issues all happening at the same time.

Their older MD Explorer G-SASH went in for its annual in mid March, and needs a new flexbeam in the rotor system to make it airworthy again. However, MD Helicopters have told YAA that they do not have any available and the part is on back order with the manufacturer quoting October 2013 delivery. To cover for this, YAA leased in G-ESCI from Medical Aviation Services, but a few weeks later that too was out for its annual. During their lease of G-ESCI, YAA issued their press release about the kit bag design and the accompanying photo featured this blue/white aircraft.

The day after G-ESCI went back to MAS, YAA's other Explorer G-CEMS was grounded after damage from a heavy landing was noticed by an engineer - no previous pilot report had picked up a particular landing as extra heavy or potential for causing damage.

The day after G-CEMS was grounded, the very sad road accident on the M62 motorway occurred in their very area (see BBC news report) right at the point in time YAA had no helicopter to respond with. Correspondingly two Dauphins from Great North Air Ambulance, two EC135s from North West Air Ambulance and an Explorer from Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire responded on YAA's behalf/request.

G-CEMS is now back flying with the damaged parts from the heavy landing replaced by the equivalent parts "borrowed" from the grounded G-SASH. YAA have also leased in Dauphin G-BTEU from Multiflight to enable them to provide a full two-aircraft operation. The details of this wet lease are covered in the Multiflight press release we are running shortly after publishing this story.

YAA would like to get back to a two Explorer operation - as all their crews are training on that type - but they currently don't know whether G-ESCI will be available after its annual is complete.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance MD902 AOG for 7 months | Helihub - the Helicopter Industry Data Source
Savoia is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service