Becoming a 24/7 service for East Anglia has been a long-term ambition of the charity, with the initial research for expanding to a 24/7 operation taking place four years ago. Since then, EAAA has taken gradual steps towards achieving this ambition, which included raising an extra million pounds a year to fund the additional operating hours, increasing its car cover to 24/7, building a new operational base and now 24/7 flying.
EAAA has two critical care teams, Anglia One and Anglia Two, which operate from Norwich and Cambridge respectively by air or by car in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or Norfolk. The doctor and critical care paramedics have been operating 24/7 by rapid response vehicle since March 2020, and now, that 24/7 service will be bolstered by a 24/7 helicopter operation, too, for the very first time.
Helping hundreds more patients
By becoming a 24/7 service by air and by car, EAAA estimates it can be tasked around 600 more times a year, helping hundreds more patients in their hour of need. Last year, the crews were tasked more than 500 times at night by RRV (rapid response vehicle) alone, demonstrating the demand that exists overnight.
Matthew Jones, the recently appointed CEO of EAAA, said: “This is a huge moment for East Anglia and something that we, as a charity, have been working passionately towards for several years; to provide critical care to someone in a life-threatening or life-changing situation no matter what the time of day or night.
“To be about to fly 24 hours a day for the very first time, by providing two 12-hour helicopter shifts, is the last piece of the Mission 24/7 puzzle. However, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this if it wasn’t for the incredible generosity of people throughout the region who have helped EAAA grow into the amazing lifeline that it is now.”