Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) is delighted to have been awarded £226,061 in capital funds.

In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £10 million in capital funding for air ambulance services across the UK with air ambulance services able to place bids of up to £2m for improvement projects. This is the first time such funding has been made available to the Air Ambulance charities.

The funds, administered by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), will enable DAA to purchase two fully-equipped Critical Care Cars to support their operations when the helicopters are not operational, for example due to poor weather. In addition, the funds will enable the provision of 22 Public Access Defibrillators to be sited across the county near DAA’s various locations, as well as a defibrillator in the two new Critical Care Cars and in all other DAA-owned vehicles.

The vital emergency service that DAA is able to offer will be further strengthened and broadened by the provision of both the Critical Care Cars and access to community defibrillators.

The provision of two fully-equipped Critical Care Cars will provide resilience and capability across a geographically large county when one of DAA’s helicopters is unavailable for deployment. This will ensure that DAA’s highly-skilled critical care paramedics and doctors, and their advanced life-saving equipment, can be delivered to scene even when the helicopter is non-operational. This is vital to DAA’s commitment to continual improvement in clinical outcomes.

In addition, funding for a county-wide Public Access Defibrillator project is aligned to the Charity’s commitment to enhance community engagement and increase the chances of survival from out of hospital cardiac arrest across Devon. It will provide life-saving equipment in town centres and areas of high population across the county, easily accessible and freely available to all when needed. With a commitment to ensure DAA staff and volunteers receive appropriate in-house training, the equipment could also prove vital in sustaining life between the time of an incident and the arrival of the air ambulance.

DAA CEO Heléna Holt said:

“I am delighted that our bid has been successful, and we have been awarded the full amount requested. This will give us more options to deliver our critical care to patients, even when the helicopter is not available for use. This is a tremendous achievement, so I would like to thank all of the team who worked on preparing and submitting this bid. We very much look forward to progressing this exciting new phase of the care that DAA can provide to our patients and in our communities.”

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