EHAAT to provide 24/7/365 emergency care services

EHAAT's AW169 helicopter. Photo: EHAAT

As of 7 October 2019, the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) critical care team will be able to provide 24/7 advanced pre-hospital care to critically ill and injured patients across Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas 365 days a year

Stuart Elms, Clinical Director at EHAAT, said: “We are very excited to be starting 24/7 operations after a lot of hard work from everyone in the Charity and our partner organisation, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. There was an intensive recruitment phase to obtain the necessary number of pre-hospital care doctors and critical care paramedics to give us the numbers and the resilience to safely work 24/7.”

The major development follows moths of strategic planning that has helped determine how the service will operate during the day and night: during the day, from 07:00 hrs until 20:00 hrs, the service will be provided by the charity’s helicopters based at Earls Colne and North Weald airbases; during the hours of darkness an EHAAT Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) based at North Weald will be used from 19:30 hrs to 07:30 hrs. As is currently the case, RRVs will also be used during daylight hours if the helicopters are unable to fly because of extreme weather conditions.

“Patient care and the safety of the team when responding in the hours of darkness are very important. Working on scene at night can be very technically demanding so we are giving our teams the training and equipment they require to work safely,” added Elms. “Our excellent governance processes will keep an eye on all the missions to ensure that no matter the hour, we work at the same standard of excellence.”