Friday, 27 July 2007

Pressure group urges Air ambulance be absorbed into NHS

The health union, financed and supported, Pro NHS pressure group London Health Emergency is, as is it’s brief, pushing the NHS agenda and urging the charitably funded London Air Ambulance service be absorbed into the NHS.

The UK Department of Health is resisting this arguing that these services are very expensive to operate and a decision must be made locally on whether the service should be supplemented. They also point out that they do provide the clinical staff for these services.

The London Air Ambulance needs £750,000 to keep the service that flies out of Whitechapel, East London, from being grounded and has recently appealed for more donations.

Clearly the service is valued by the people of London, or it would never have ‘got off the ground’ ;-) in the first place.

The problem for the DOH, if they fund this, is that it will cost them money, lots of money. There are charitably funded air ambulances all over the country once they create a precedent there are those (not least amongst them LHE) who will argue: ‘Why should London be funded when they are not’?

A further consideration is that currently, not being subject to stifling NHS management, these services are generally quite effective and responsive to the public need. In fact it is logical to conclude that if it were up to the NHS they would not actually exist at all and would certainly be vulnerable to cuts if the NHS controlled their budget.

Personally I would be far happier if my own air ambulance service were to stay well out of the clutches of the NHS and the CFD household make regular contributions to help keep it that way.

Given the vast wealth in London, especially in the City and Canary wharf it is difficult to understand why their funding is short. One would have thought it would be in the interests of businesses and corporations with a large presence in the Capital to donate to the service - Not to mention the citizens of London.

If you live in, or work in London, think about how, for a few pence, you could help keep the service going.

It would be nice to know it was there if you really needed it and couldn’t be closed by funding cuts - wouldn’t it?

If enough people think it important and donate then it’s future should be secure.

You can donate here. Pass it on…

Hat tip to SarahC on this one for drawing it to my attention.