The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) is one of several air ambulance charities in the UK set to benefit from a £5 million fund from LIBOR fines – fines levied on banks for attempting to manipulate London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark for interest rates.
The charity is to receive £250,000 from the fund, which will contribute towards the introduction of night HEMS operations.
HIOWAA is already committed to introducing a Night HEMS capability and, as an integral part of the preparations, this grant will allow the enhancement of facilities and equipment at the Thruxton airbase, to better support the HEMS teams during night operations. These include new buildings for clinical equipment storage and HEMS team preparation, training and debrief areas, and enhanced facilities for night operations planning.
The funding was confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) at a meeting between UK Chancellor George Osborne and the national Association of Air Ambulances, whose charity will distribute the money among the 20 local air ambulance charities set to benefit.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:
“From enabling the fantastic Air Ambulance services to extend their flying hours, to helping build brand new specialist headquarters, this funding will play a vital role on helping to save hundreds of lives every year. It is absolutely right that we use funds from those who demonstrated the worst values to reward those who demonstrate the best, like our hardworking air ambulance crews.”
Today’s announcement follows extensive lobbying by the Association of Air Ambulances and is in addition to the LIBOR funds already announced for three air ambulance charities. It also follows the announcement of relief of VAT on air ambulance charities and aviation fuel which was announced last year. Combined the changes will be worth over £15 million over the next 5 years.