Chancellor gives air ambulance £1.5m boost

Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance SUS-140809-105432001
Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance SUS-140809-105432001

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is to receive £1.5m following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement given yesterday (Wednesday December 3)

The service celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, and became the first air ambulance service in the country to operate a 24 hour Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) last September.

The Adrian Bell, chief executive of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, said: “The Chancellor’s statement in which he granted the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust £1.5 million, is a very clear and ringing endorsement of the critical service this charity provides to its patients, and, as support to our capital investment programme, eloquent recognition of the need to ensure the long-term resilience and sustainability of this vital emergency service funded as it is through charitable donation rather than NHS finances.

“As well as being extremely grateful to the Chancellor for this support, the charity is also hugely appreciative of his move to exempt all Air Ambulance charity expenditure from VAT.

“In our case, this will release about £100,000 per year directly to frontline services rather than the Exchequer and equates to over 30 life-saving missions of the 1,800 that the charity undertakes annually.

“We still have to raise over £6m annually to provide this life-saving service but I hope our many supporters will, like me, rejoice in the fact that yet more of their generous and so gratefully received donations will support this vital cause so directly.”