Bank fines celebrated by Minister at Air Ambulance Reception
A reception held by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) took place on the House of Commons Terrace. The event, hosted by Chairman of the APPGAA Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, gave members of both Houses of Parliament the opportunity to meet with representatives from air ambulance charities and ambulance services.
Jim introduced Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Social Society who thanked the APPGAA for all their hard work before addressing the audience. Rob highlighted the excellent outcome of the Autumn Statement last week where air ambulances were a major beneficiary in being awarded £10.8 million from the banking fines fund (LIBOR).
Rob Wilson MP said:
“Air ambulances across the UK have grown to play a key role in our emergency services response capacity. The latest award of £10.8 million is in addition to the £24 million previously allocated in previous statements, however there is a possibility that these funds will run out in the not too distant future.
“The air ambulance network needs to consider not only how to continue saving lives but also ways to enhance the network so that they can continue saving lives into the future. It is making great use of their 2,500 volunteer community in many different ways. The UK is the second most generous nation in the world donating £11 billion to good causes. My goal is to create an environment so that the voluntary sector can create a sustainable future. The public must trust that their fundraising is going to great causes and you have my continued support as the Minister of Social Society.
Hannah Sebright, Chair of the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) responded and said:
“I would like to thank the Minister and Central Government for their continued support. The recognition that Central Government affords us in giving greater visibility and raising our profile, is a goal that we are all working towards because it’s essential that we remain in the public domain.
“We are however, aware of the financial constraints on the NHS and our Ambulance Service colleagues. This is why it is a priority that through the AAA we work continue to work together in our communities and support our NHS Trusts by continually improving our services.”
Hanna explained that the AAA has ambitious plans for 2017 and highlighted a number of key projects including input on the Ambulance Radio Programme which will impact all AAA members, as well as other emergency service providers. She also said that the AAA recognises that with the extension of flight time limitations, it had the potential to impact on the number of paramedics needed as technical crew members and pressed the need to develop a cohesive national lit helipad network.
Finally, Hanna concluded in saying:
“The APPGAA’s annual reception is an important date in the calendar and an opportunity for the community to come together and meet with members of Westminster to highlight our successes and discuss our Key Issues. On behalf of the AAA, I would like to thank everyone for being here today, it’s a testament to how passionate we feel about providing the best possible service we can, to the patients we attend to.”
Jim Fitzpatrick MP brought proceedings to a conclusion with a final message of thanks:
“The APPGAA are here as your champions and your advocates in Parliament. Keep providing the amazing service that you do for our constituents; without you, many of them would not be around.”
The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA), which represents the majority of air ambulance charities, ambulance services and the supply chain throughout the UK, supported the reception for the fourth year, bringing patients, charities, ambulance services and legislators together.
More information on the APPGAA, Association of Air Ambulances and the air ambulance community can be found by visiting: www.aoaa.org.uk