2023 was our second-busiest year on record - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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2023 was our second-busiest year on record

Our specialist crew had a busy start to the New Year in 2024. They were called to help 90 people in urgent need of critical care in the first two weeks. This was a third more call-outs than for the same period in 2023 making it the busiest first two weeks recorded by Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC). It’s no surprise that in January 2024, we were called to more patients than in any month of 2023.

The busy New Year followed a busy 2023 which was our second busiest year on record. In 2023 our team of Critical Care Doctors, Advanced Practitioners and Specialist Paramedics in Critical Care and Pilots rushed to help 1,979 people experiencing their worst day and potentially needing immediate lifesaving care.

 

More call-outs to children and teenagers than ever before

Our crew was tasked to help more children and teenagers in urgent need of critical care in 2023 than ever before. Two years ago, despatches to children and teenagers doubled from 7% in preceding years to 14%. Numbers remained high in 2022, but in 2023 they reached a new level with the crew called to help 289 young people under 18 years old (15% of our total call-outs.)

Luckily the team is well-equipped to deal with the increasing number of young patients. Some crew members even specialise in paediatric and neonatal critical care. When a call comes in for a young patient, the team responds with the skills, knowledge and kit (we have specialist kit bags that are set up to treat children and babies) to give them their best chance.

Critical Care Doctor, James Tooley says, “We’re very lucky to have access to manikins of all paediatric sizes for training purposes, from pre-term infant to school age. Equally important, we also carry a wide range of sizes of equipment allowing us to resuscitate and treat this vulnerable group.”

 

Do you know the most likely reason someone would need our crew?

Cardiac arrests remained the most common type of incident for GWAAC in 2023. The crew were called to 503 people in cardiac arrest (25% of all missions), followed by 377 people (19%) who needed GWAAC’s help after a road traffic collision.

62% of GWAAC’s patients were male and 32% were female.  

Overall, serious medical-related incidents accounted for 51% of our total missions in 2023, while trauma-related injuries accounted for 49% of missions.

Across our region of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and parts of Wiltshire, our crew responded to 73% of call-outs in one of our fully-equipped critical care cars and 27% in our blue and bright green helicopter.

Gloucestershire, for the second year in a row, was our busiest region, with 573 people needing the skills of our specialist team (29% of GWAAC’s total call-outs). The next busiest region was Bristol with 537 call-outs, followed by South Gloucestershire (290), then North Somerset (262), Wiltshire (112) and Bath and North East Somerset (101). Our crew responded to 104 incidents out of GWAAC’s region.

 

We couldn’t do it without your support

We were only able to help the 1,979 people in urgent need of critical care in 2023 because of the kind donations and amazing fundraising efforts of our supporters. Thank you, thank you!

“With our mission numbers steadily rising year on year it’s more important than ever that we continue to receive the support of people in our communities. As a charity, we receive no direct government funding and rely on the kindness of people donating their time and money. Costs are rising too and we need to raise over £4 million every year just to stay operational.”

Anna Perry, Chief Executive Officer, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity

Look at what we did in 2023 with your support!

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