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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

About Us

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance began operations on 1st July 2007. The Helicopter is based at Thruxton Airfield near Andover and our Head Office is at 4 King’s Park Road, Southampton. Every day the Air Ambulance crew provide an efficient, prompt response to road traffic collisions, sporting accidents, collapses, and many other incidents throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Helicopter is called out many times per day, and these missions are often life saving.

How long does the air ambulance take to respond?

The air ambulance is usually airborne within four minutes. It flies at 140mph and from Thruxton Air Base it reaches most locations in Hampshire in fifteen minutes. Flights to Isle of Wight take a little longer. A typical mission lasts about ninety minutes.Helipads exist at Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Southampton General Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital (Isle of Wight) and Portsmouth Queen Alexandra.

Does the Air Ambulance fly at night?

Some air ambulances fly at night. Scotland provides a twenty four hour service but these are hospital transfers more than HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) missions. Some counties operate joint police / air ambulance and may be equipped for safe night operation.Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance can now fly night transfers between approved sites but not HEMS missions. After the evening rush hour, our roads are usually less congested allowing comparable response time by land ambulances.

Apart from speed what are the benefits?

One of the major benefits of the Air Ambulance is that patients can be taken quickly to the hospital which is most appropriate for their injury, rather than the nearest hospital. For example, if the patient was suffering from burns, they could be taken to the burns unit at Salisbury District Hospital, or if there was a suspected head injury, the patient could be taken to the neurological unit at Southampton General Hospital.Statistics in Germany show that the average stay in intensive care is shortened between five and seven days where the patient was transported by Air Ambulance. Also there are 9% fewer wound infections, a significant reduction in the number of deaths occurring during transport to hospital, and death from head injuries is down 15%.

How much does the air ambulance cost to run?

The Air Ambulance costs in excess of £125,000 per month to maintain the service – approximately £4,166 per day.