Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is a registered charity, established to provide relief from sickness and injury for the people of Dorset and Somerset, by the provision of an air ambulance service, with an air and road-delivered critical care capability. We receive no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery and rely on the generosity of the public for support. Our operational costs are over £5 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000. 

Since our launch in 2000 we have flown thousands of missions. We are tasked as part of the normal ‘999’ emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance Charities) and can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day.

Our airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the Dorset/Somerset border. From there, we can be at any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a patient to the nearest Major Trauma Centre in the South West within a further 20 minutes.

Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright, shares how far we have come since our formation in 2000.

Structure, Governance and Management

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is controlled by a Board of Trustees embracing a balanced spectrum of skills and experience including Healthcare, Aviation, Legal, Business, Finance, Military Services, Charities and Local Affairs.

Trustees are appointed in accordance with the DSAA constitution and fulfill their responsibilities within clearly defined and approved Terms of Reference. Representatives from Specialist Aviation Services and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT) also attend Board meetings as required, to provide additional operational advice. 

Code of Conduct

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is committed to maintaining the highest standards of fundraising behaviour and adhering to the standards set by the Fundraising Regulator. We are also a member of Air Ambulances UK (AAUK), the national organisation representing, supporting and advocating the life-saving work of the UK's 21 air ambulance charities.