Magpas Air Ambulance saves lives 24/7 in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and across the East of England. The charity’s doctors and critical care paramedics are specially trained in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), which allows them to perform procedures and provide treatments that are usually only available in a hospital A&E department, right at the scene of a patient’s medical emergency. This saves vital time when every second counts and can make a lifesaving difference to the people they treat.

As well as operating a helicopter and rapid response vehicles out of its base in Huntingdon, in 2020 Magpas Air Ambulance also launched a specialised road-based service in Luton, Bedfordshire; bringing an advanced level of emergency medical care to the town and surrounding areas, and improving response times to the area by up to 40 minutes on average.

The dedicated rapid response vehicle, based in the heart of the town, is equipped with lifesaving equipment and drugs; the majority of which are not carried by standard land ambulances. The service is provided from 12:30 pm–1 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays—when the charity’s research showed demand for critical care in the area to be at its highest.

So far this year, the Magpas Air Ambulance Luton service alone has responded to 98 life-threatening medical emergencies and the team arrived at the incident scene within just 14 minutes after dispatch on average—although they have responded in as little as three minutes this year. All of this means Magpas Air Ambulance’s local presence in Luton not only assists the existing ambulance service but enhances the standard of emergency care available, which is even more crucial in the winter months.

Magpas Air Ambulance Medical Director Dr Simon Lewis explains, “Once again, we’ve entered another difficult winter period. It’s clear pressures on the NHS are not subsiding and 999 calls always increase at this time of year. In 2022, the Magpas Air Ambulance Luton service most often received calls to attend cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions, and incidents of assault and self-harm. At this time of year, there are poor weather conditions, shorter daylight hours, feelings of loneliness are often worse, and very serious injuries continue to happen. We are there to support the ambulance service and provide additional specialist care to all those in need across Bedfordshire. Bringing the A&E to the patient means they will get the advanced care they need quicker, which is better for all our patients.”

Not only do patients benefit from the service Magpas Air Ambulance provides in Luton, it also helps to support the ambulance service and local hospitals too.

Working throughout the winter months is a grueling task, particularly in the harsh weather we’ve recently seen, but the Magpas Air Ambulance team will continue to save lives and keep families together in Luton and Bedfordshire this Christmas and beyond.

Natalie Church, Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Operations, explains “There’s a whole team of doctors, paramedics and flight crew at Magpas Air Ambulance, who will be working throughout Christmas and the harsh winter months to care for all those who need them. But, as we’re a charity, they can only be there thanks to donations from the people and communities we serve. We know this winter will be difficult for many but every £1 donated really does make a difference. So, if you’re thinking of supporting a local charity this Christmas then please think of Magpas Air Ambulance.”

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