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A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the London's Air Ambulance Charity gala

Published 7 November 2019

The trauma teams working with London’s Air Ambulance are world class.

The Prince of Wales

Thank you Jonathan and good evening everyone.

I’m extremely pleased to be here with you tonight to mark thirty years of London’s Air Ambulance saving lives right across the capital.

I was delighted to become your Patron for the campaign this year to shine a light on the incredible work that the charity undertakes on a daily basis and to help champion positive mental health and wellbeing in the emergency services.

Having served as an air ambulance pilot myself, I am in no doubt about the crucial life-line that air ambulances provide all over the UK.

London has some of the most difficult airspace in the world in which to offer an air ambulance service.

The City is congested, and landing spaces in short supply.

I landed on the London Air Ambulance helipad on multiple occasions during my job. I can tell you that it is an essential part of the medical chain in London, and speeds up the process of patients getting to care.

And I know first-hand that the trauma teams working with London’s Air Ambulance are world class. Even if their banter isn’t quite up to the pilots’ level.

They work calmly, quickly and with razor-sharp focus to help people from all walks of life who have suffered the most horrific injuries.

Their care can mean the difference between life and death – between recovery and lifelong disability.

They take the skills that they learn here in London back to other air ambulances, their home countries, and back to the military.

And they show remarkable resilience and strength in the face of the tragic circumstances that they come across multiple times a day.

What struck me when I worked with East Anglia and through my support for London’s Air Ambulance this year is that serious injury can happen indiscriminately.

To anyone. 

At any time.

In any place.

That moment that turns lives upside down.

Whatever the injury or the circumstance – if a person falls from a great height, is involved in a road traffic collision, or is stabbed – they need the hospital to come to them immediately.

That’s what makes a difference.

And that’s what saves lives. 

Throughout their 30th anniversary celebrations, London’s Air Ambulance Charity has raised awareness about their great work and the help that they need to continue providing it. 

When I became Patron for the anniversary in January, one of the targets was to raise at least £1 million to redevelop the crew’s helipad base.

I’m very proud that, nine months later, this target has now been met.

Once complete, these new facilities at the helipad will allow medics to respond even faster to emergencies and ensure crews have the mental health and wellbeing support that they need.

This is an impressive achievement, but only one part of this year’s campaign.

Your continued support will enable the charity to do even more in the future to deliver first class care when Londoners need it most.

I wish you all the very best as you build on this year’s successes and continue providing crucial lifesaving support to Londoners for many years to come. 

Enjoy your evening.