Canary Wharf businesses urged to help fund London’s Air Ambulance

The new executive director of the capital’s only air ambulance, based at Whitechapel, has urged Canary Wharf businesses to help raise an extra �3million annually to develop the charity and save lives.

Dr Julian Thompson, who previously worked as a doctor from London’s Air Ambulance’s helipad at the top of the Royal London Hospital, said current funding limitations were “frustrating after this month being appointed to spearhead the charity’s fundraising.

“During my time as a doctor I was inspired by the extreme professionalism of the medical care but frustrated that limitations in funding meant we could not always reach Londoner’s who needed our care.

“I’m absolutely appealing to Canary Wharf businesses and the community to help us raise money and save lives.

“Many people I speak to do not realise we are a charity and I firmly believe awareness we are a charity is key.”

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Initially he hopes to raise �1.2 million annually for a second helicopter in time for this summer’s Olympics �— enabling them to reach more than one trauma incidents by air at the same time. Another �2.2 to �2.8 million a year would help pay for an extra team, consisting of a doctor and a paramedic, along with training and research to maintain world-class standards. The money would also enable them to extend their service from dawn to dusk instead of the current hours from 8am to 6.45pm.

Mr Thompson said: “London has just one helicopter to attend 2,000 trauma victims every year compared with other world cities with smaller populations that have up to five helicopters.

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“By air we can reach people, whose life are in danger, in three to six minutes, or in 10 minutes on the outskirts. Compared that with it often taking 45 minutes by car because of London’s traffic.”

The charity’s current revenue brings in between �2.2m and �2.8m a year, including funding from the NHS, individual donations, a lottery scheme and some corporate sponsorship.

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