Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Air Ambulance Reception in the House of Commons

I was pleased to host over 150 patients, Air Ambulance Trust staff and trustees, clinicians, and dozens of MPs and Peers who came along to yesterdays Association of Air Ambulances Reception.
The 2 hour event was a huge success and I am seen pictured with the wonderful team from the Great North Air Ambulance [who are, of course, the best Air Ambulance in the country], who had a great time and chatted at length with my Stockton South colleague James Wharton and Wansbeck's Ian Lavery. Many congratulations to Clive Dickin and his team, and my staff who worked long and hard to make sure this event went off without a hitch. One Chief Exec said to me, "I have never been to an event like it" before adding "and the speeches of yourself and Lord Howe made the point, but mercifully did not go on too long." There is a compliment in there.
Lord Howe spoke very supportively of the work all Air Ambulances were doing and, in particular, on behalf of the Department of Health about the work being done on helipads for use by the helicopters. 
Most of all two memories remain: it was a chance to celebrate the great work of these small, dedicated but enthusiastic teams of local people do up and down the country. And secondly it was wonderful to see so many former patients, like the young female Londoner or the motorcyclist from Bishops Stortford I met, both of whose lives were saved by an Air Ambulance team. After all, everything we do is about saving patients lives and to hear them speak and eulogise about the service was very moving.
A great day.