Commitment to air ambulance welcomed

PRESS RELEASE IMAGE''3/9/15: Health Minister Simon Hamilton pictured with Nicola McAuley, Rapid Response Control Officer during a visit to the Ambulance HQ in Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper
PRESS RELEASE IMAGE''3/9/15: Health Minister Simon Hamilton pictured with Nicola McAuley, Rapid Response Control Officer during a visit to the Ambulance HQ in Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper

A commitment to establish an air ambulance service for Northern Ireland has been welcomed by local DUP MLA Sydney Anderson.

Health Minister Simon Hamilton last week said he believed that the time was right to ‘transform our major trauma services’, and committed to ‘further strengthen our existing high quality trauma services by enabling clinicians to take this service to the next level’.

Mr Anderson stated, “I fully welcome the commitment of my party colleague, Simon Hamilton MLA, in his role as Health Minister to establish a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in Northern Ireland. This announcement is positive news and a significant step in efforts to establish an air ambulance service across the country, which ultimately will help to save lives. The recent loss of Dr John Hinds was a real tragedy that has heightened interest in guaranteeing air ambulance provision for Northern Ireland.”

As part of the Minister’s commitment, the Northern Ireland Trauma Network has been established - with a recurrent investment of £211,000 to fund its operation.

Mr Anderson added, “The Minister has also committed to bringing forward a public consultation by the end of September and I would encourage anyone who is interested to participate. I am fully committed to working with all relevant parties to ensure we see an air ambulance service in place in the near future.”