Northamptonshire air ambulance service projects losses of £2.2million following 'challenging' 2020
The charity has had to temporarily close its chain of 56 stores during this lockdown, and community fundraising events remain on hold until the foreseeable future
The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) along with the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, (DLRAA) said that despite the 'most challenging of years' it was still called to over 3,400 missions and stayed fully operational in providing vital support to the NHS 'when it mattered most'.
Even with 2020 being over, the charity's CEO Andy Williamson said that going into the new year with another lockdown is worrying - the country's third since the pandemic began back in March.
Mr Williamson said: “The pandemic has had a significant impact on so many including our own lifesaving charity. We have faced a projected net loss of income of at least £2.2million for the months April to June last year, and worryingly we have started 2021 with another lockdown.
“Despite these losses and the multiple lockdowns, our 24/7 lifesaving service celebrated its 40,000th mission milestone last year, and has continued to remain on the frontline, fully operational for those who need us.
“As a charity, our mission is clear: to continue providing leading pre-hospital emergency care to our patients and to support the NHS, but in order to do this we need the support of people within our communities now more than ever before."
An air ambulance spokesman said their staff worked tirelessly around the clock over the last year, and despite the financial impact, the charity has continued to provide frontline, critical care across its five counties and further afield.
As a result of the lockdowns, there were fewer cars on the roads but both crews remained busy being tasked to more medical incidents (33%) than road traffic collisions (28%), with the ‘other’ category - consisting of assaults, self-harm, and mental health incidents - accounting for 24% of missions, falls 10%, sports 3% and industrial 2%.
To continue to deliver their clinical excellence, the spokesman said, the charity will be bringing their two brand new replacement aircraft online imminently which will continue to have critical care paramedics and doctors on-board.
The crew onboard the new replacement aircraft are able to perform out of hospital surgical procedures from thoracotomies and caesareans to amputations by the roadside - the spokesman said support for them during this time is crucial.
The charity is urging the public to continue supporting them through donations, virtual fundraising events, and by shopping with them online.
Anyone wishing to support the frontline service can visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk or call 0300 3045 999.