Air ambulance service team say its been another busy year for them in Swindon & Wiltshire

By Jessica Durston - 19 January 2023

Charity

Wiltshire Air Ambulance have released the latest statistics, detailing all the call outs and missions that have taken place across Swindon & Wiltshire during 2022.

Staff say a total of 1,061 missions were undertaken by Wiltshire Air Ambulance during 2022.

The charity was called to 199 missions across the Swindon area - including Cricklade, Highworth and Royal Wootton Bassett.

In addition, 44 patients were airlifted or escorted to Great Western Hospital.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s director of income generation and communications Barbara Gray said: “We have a very dedicated aircrew – consisting of pilots, critical care paramedics and doctors – who respond to emergencies, on average, three times a day, 365 days a year.

“We know it is a really difficult time for the country right now, with fuel and energy bills rising, along with inflation, contributing to this current cost of living crisis.

“However, we remain ever grateful to our amazing donors and local businesses who continue to support us and help raise the £4 million it costs each year to keep our air ambulance flying and saving lives.”

Of the 1,061 missions in 2022, the charity’s helicopter was said to have been used for 670 (63%) of them, with the remaining 391 incidents attended by critical care cars.

A total of 263 patients were transferred to local hospitals (up from 237 in 2021), the majority of which to the Royal United Hospital, Bath (84), Southmead Hospital, Bristol (63) and Great Western Hospital, Swindon (44).

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance team say the largest number of call outs were to cardiac emergencies – 351, which equates to a third of all missions and a rise from 306 in 2021. There were 174 road traffic collisions attended, plus 74 medical collapses, 51 sporting incidents and 44 assaults.

A total of 139 incidents involved children, while 31% of all missions (329) took place at night.

The largest number of incidents Wiltshire Air Ambulance responded to were in the Swindon area, followed by the cities of Bath (83 missions) and Salisbury (69).

Other areas where the team were called to attend include: Amesbury – 11; Bradford-on-Avon - 17; Calne - 20; Chippenham - 72; Corsham - 17; Cricklade - 4; Devizes - 49; Malmesbury – 16; Marlborough - 33; Melksham - 42; Pewsey - 10; Royal Wootton Bassett - 17; Tidworth - 3; Trowbridge - 76; Warminster - 36 and Westbury - 32.

The aircrew said they were also tasked to incidents outside of their operational patch, including in counties such as Berkshire, Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Somerset. In total, 22% of incidents were outside of Wiltshire and Bath (down from 23.5% in 2021).

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance team are reminding members of the public that they are a charity and receive no regular direct funding from the Government or National Lottery grants.

Each year the charity needs to raise £4 million to continue flying and saving lives.

The team have broked down their statistics into months and categories below:

Breakdown of incidents by month

January – 87
February – 78
March – 83
April – 93
May – 94
June – 88
July – 96
August – 88
September – 95
October – 59
November – 104
December – 96

Breakdown of incidents by category

Cardiac – 33% (28% in 2021)
Other medical conditions, including collapses and strokes – 17% (21%)
Road traffic collisions – 16% (18%)
Falls – 11% (16%)
Sports (including horse riding) – 5% (5%)
Other trauma/misc incidents – 16% (11%)

More information about the Wiltshire Air Ambulance can be found on its website at https://www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/

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