Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Redhill Aerodrome on Tuesday (4th February 2020) to meet the Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) team and view the new technology and training facilities that will allow the AW169 aircraft to operate in weather conditions where it is currently not possible and the crew to deliver more inflight patient care.
Her Royal Highness’ visit coincides with the 30th Anniversary of AAKSS. Founded in 1989, AAKSS serves 4.8 million residents across South East England and is a world leader in the provision of helicopter emergency medical services.
It is the only air ambulance service in the UK to fly 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Since its inception it has treated more than 30,000 patients.
AAKSS is renowned for leading in the research and innovation of pre-hospital emergency care. From the introduction of new medical techniques, design of the medical interior helicopter cabin to the introduction of a new operational model the team continuously strives to improve patient outcomes.
David Welch, Chief Executive of AAKSS said “We are extremely grateful to Her Royal Highness for visiting us today and helping to put the spotlight on our Air Ambulance service.’
“We have a fantastic, highly skilled team who are always looking for new ways to provide even better service and care and over the last 30 years the team here has helped pioneer some very significant advancements in operations and emergency medicine which has provided significant benefits for the patients. ‘
“The very nature of our service means we respond to seriously injured or ill patients who require high levels of specialist care. ‘
“Often these patients are a considerable distance from a major trauma centre so it is hugely important that when our medical crew arrive at the scene they are equipped to provide the best possible pre-hospital emergency care they can.
“Amongst our latest innovations we have recently introduced a time critical transfer services, as part of this process we commissioned a unique custom-built simulator which replicates the interior of the new AW169 aircraft allowing us to train our team to take full advantage of the new aircraft cabin, including the ability to perform critical interventions and treat patients inflight. ‘
“Over the last 30 years, AAKSS has been on an incredible journey and achieved so much however, we still have an ambitious vision which is to continue to introduce innovation to our service that ultimately results in us delivering best in class emergency services, saving more lives and improving many more patient outcomes.”
The Princess Royal completed the visit by unveiling a plaque to mark the 30th anniversary and meet some of the volunteers, fundraisers and patrons of the charity.
Her Royal Highness was presented with a bouquet of flowers by former patient Jim Hardwick and his two daughters Primrose (6) and Mabel (4).
For further information visit: www.aakss.org.uk.