Minister Nick Hurd “My Door is Always Open for Air Ambulances”

June 12, 2014 by Tracy

L to R Bill Sivewright (AAA Chairman), Nick Hurd MP (Minister for Civil Society), Guy Opperman MP (APPGAA Chairman), Clive Dickin (AAA National Director)A reception held by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) took place on the House of Commons Terrace, Westminster on 9 June 2014.  We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet some of our local MPs and would like to thank them for taking the time to attend.

The event, hosted by Chairman of the APPGAA Guy Opperman MP, gave members of both Houses of Parliament the opportunity to meet with senior managers of local air ambulance charities and ambulance services from across the UK, enabling them to learn more about their operations and to discuss the sector’s key issues. 

In his opening speech, Guy explained how he needed an air ambulance when he was involved in a horse riding incident.  He explained the role of the APPGAA and encouraged the air ambulance community to continue engaging with their local MPs on matters of importance.

Colin Thomas (DSAA Volunteer), Christopher Chope (MP for Christchurch), Tracy Bartram (DSAA Communications Manager)The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP delivered a speech which praised the work of the UK’s air ambulances that together raised £96.4 million last year through public donations and on average treat 70 patients a day by the 20 charity funded services.  He said, "Your good work must continue and as Minister for Civil Society my door is always open, either directly or by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances to contact me to resolve issues.”Colin Thomas (DSAA Volunteer), David Heath (MP for Somerton & Frome), Glenys Taylor (DSAA Trustee), Paul Owen (DSAA Clinical Support Officer)

The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA), that represents the majority of air ambulance charities, ambulance services and the supply chain throughout the UK, supported the reception for the second year, bringing patients, charities, ambulance services and legislators together.

Bill Sivewright, Chairman of the AAA thanked everyone for their attendance and welcomed the Minister’s comments.  He concluded by issuing a challenge to all those present:

John Sunnucks (DSAA patient), Glenys Taylor (DSAA Trustee), John Penrose (MP for Weston Super Mare), Tracy Bartram (DSAA Communications Manager)We must rise to the challenge of ensuring that the patient remains the focus for all our efforts.  Air ambulances need to work with their local NHS trusts, leveraged through the influence of local MPs when appropriate, to ensure that the a patient journey from the point of injury or medical incident through to leaving hospital is as seamless as possible.”Representatives from Cornwall AA, Dorset and Somerset AA, Devon AA and Great Western AA

More information on the APPGAA and the air ambulance community can be found on the AAA website by visiting: www.aoaa.org.uk