Monday, 4 May 2015

Lib Dems to invest £50m in air ambulance services

The Liberal Democrats will use £50m from a fine imposed on a bank for rigging the Libor rate to investment in regional air ambulance services.

This money could be used to buy an additional helicopter, provide 24/7 emergency, or upgrade helipads at hospitals – although it is up to local groups how they spend the cash.

It is part of wider Liberal Democrat plans to divide £50m, from the £227m fine levied on Deutsche Bank, equally between Britain’s 20 air ambulance trusts.

Air ambulances save hundreds of lives each year but rely almost solely on donations from the local community. For example, London’s Air Ambulance is currently running a campaign to secure a second helicopter to provide substantially improved coverage to the capital’s 10 million residents. As of March 2015, the charity was £2.35m short of the total funding required. A £2.5m donation would secure the helicopter.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:
“Air ambulance saves lives and helps the emergency services deal with some of the most difficult incidents, in some of the most hazardous conditions. 
“This money will give our air ambulance trusts the power to improve the incredible service they already offer our communities. 
“It will allow trusts to buy a new helicopters, upgrade their helicopters or improve their helipads. 
“This would not be possible without the Liberal Democrats and further illustrates our commitment to build a stronger economy and fairer society.”