Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance is an independent Charity that brings an advanced Critical Care Team to the most seriously ill and injured patients in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, giving them the best chance of survival and recovery, when the worst happens.

Using both a helicopter and emergency response vehicle, the Charity brings a team of highly skilled pre-hospital emergency medicine doctors and specialist paramedics to the scene of an incident, effectively bringing the hospital to the patient when time is critical. Called out to an average of four incidents every day, including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions, falls and assaults, our life-saving service is operational 365 days a year, both day and night. An invaluable part of our local community, their 2021 Mission Report only goes to highlight just how important they are.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance responded to 1,570 potentially life-saving call-outs in 2021.

The highest number of missions were cardiac arrest, 491 (31% of total), closely followed by medical emergencies, such as strokes, 268 (17%), road traffic collisions, 228 (15%) and falls from height, 226 (14%). Other incidents included rail and sporting incidents, drownings, assaults and stabbings.

December was the busiest month for the team on the front line, with 148 incidents across the region.

In April, the charity hit a significant landmark when it flew to its 10,000th patient in need of critical care when a young male was involved in a road traffic collision in Ringwood, Hampshire.

The specialist skills of the doctors and paramedics on board mean they can administer advanced medication, ventilate patients and even perform open heart surgery – all at the roadside. The crew administered emergency blood 37 times in 2021, most commonly used at road traffic collisions and major traumas, and, since 1 November 2018, have administered blood products 129 times.

Major trauma and major incidents played a vital role in the charity’s operations in 2021. These included call-outs to a train crash near Salisbury, a domestic gas explosion in Portsmouth and an incident on Salisbury Plain.

2021 Mission breakdown:
• 887 by air (56%)
• 683 by road (44%)
• 110 calls to the Isle of Wight (7%)
• Average of four missions per day
• The aircraft was airborne for more than 460 hours
• The three emergency response vehicles covered more than 42,000 miles

The charity’s CEO, Richard Corbett, said:

“As with all front line and health services, 2021 was immensely challenging. But for our patients and their families, it was potentially life changing. We are so grateful to all of our supporters for allowing us to be there for the 1,570 people who needed our help last year. Their kindness and generosity means the most critically ill and injured patients in our region have the very best chance of survival. But we can only continue this work with each and every one of them by our side.”

2022 marks a significant year in the charity’s history, where it will be marking 15 years since it took off on its first flight in July 2007. The service is encouraging people to show their support and ensure it can continue flying and saving lives for the next 15 years and more; people can take on a daring skydive or a long-distance run or sign up to a monthly giving scheme. Come and meet the team at this year’s Lymington Seafood Festival.