Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, has visited Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) at North Weald Airfield in Epping Forest to hear about their operations across the region.
In March, Stephen hosted Air Ambulance UK’s Parliamentary Reception. It was a great success and the crucial work of air ambulance teams across the country was highlighted to Members of Parliament. Stephen met some of the team from the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust and discussed how important it was to underline to the public that air ambulance services are fully funded by charity trusts. Following this, the Essex and Herts Trust arranged a visit for Stephen to their new airbase at North Weald Airfield on 20 April.
At North Weald, Stephen was able to meet members of the Essex and Herts Trust, pilots, doctors and paramedics. A tour of the facilities followed and, of course, a photo opportunity with the helicopter (which was waiting for its next mission).
One of the key issues raised by the Essex and Herts Trust was the issue of there not being lights at the Basildon Hospital landing site. Stephen has agreed to press this issue with Basildon Hospital so that the air ambulance crew can land there safely at night.
Stephen Metcalfe said: “Big thanks to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust for kindly inviting me to visit their new airbase at North Weald. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated team serving Essex and saving lives.
EHAAT raised the issue of there not being lights at the Basildon Hospital landing site. I will discuss this with the hospital as it would dramatically improve the safety of the crew and speed in treatment for patients.
In the last 5 years, 237 patients were taken by EHAAT to Basildon Hospital during hours of darkness and most of these patients were taken by road. It is clear that there would be big benefits for patients if the landing site gets some lights.”