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Barking and Dagenham MPs back Air Ambulance campaign

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 September 2015

The London's Air Ambulance's only helicopter on the helipad at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel

The London's Air Ambulance's only helicopter on the helipad at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel

Archant

Jon Cruddas and Margaret Hodge are calling on residents to donate to London’s Air Ambulance as the charity aims to acquire a second helicopter.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas is urging residents to donateDagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas is urging residents to donate

The Dagenham and Rainham and Barking MPs have pledged their support for the Your London, Your Helicopter campaign, which aims to reach a £6million target by the end of the week.

Delivering an advanced-trauma team to critically-injured people, 28 patients have been treated across the borough by the team already this year.

“The service that the London Air Ambulance provides to the residents of Barking and Dagenham, stretching out to Havering, is vital,” said Mr Cruddas.

“I am 100 per cent behind the campaign to secure a second helicopter and increase the availability of the service.

Margaret Hodge MP says it's Margaret Hodge MP says it's "madness" that London's Air Ambulance currently only have one helicopter

“Our emergency services do a sterling job but we currently only have one helicopter for the whole of London – that is why I am urging local residents to support the campaign and donate to the ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ campaign.”

When the helicopter is available, the team can be at a patient’s side up to eight times faster than in a rapid response car, but it has already been offline for the equivalent of more than 50 days this year for essential maintenance.

“The London Air Ambulance do a fantastic job but we still only have one helicopter for the whole of London,” said Mrs Hodge. “This is madness.

“A second helicopter will go a long way in increasing the availability of the service for patients.

“I urge residents to support this campaign and donate just the price of a cup of coffee.”

Through the acquisition of a second helicopter and by extending its daylight flying hours in the summer months, the charity will be able to reach an estimated 400 more patients per year by aircraft.

If raised, the £6 million will sustain a second helicopter and extend the charity’s daylight flying hours for five years.

Donations can be made online at yourhelicopter.london or by texting HELICOPTER to 70800 to donate £5.


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