Six months ago, we were in the midst of the most challenging time the charity has ever experienced. I hoped then that we would be through the worst by now, but like you, we’re facing the impact of a second wave of the virus. As we enter into lockdown again, be reassured that Magpas Air Ambulance remain here for you and your loved ones 24/7. Continuing to provide our patients with lifesaving medical care, as we have done every day throughout the pandemic, is as important as ever.
The charity faced significant challenges during the first wave. Securing and adapting to the right PPE, changing our operating processes to keep patients and staff safe and thinking of new ways to fundraise when most of our activity stopped. However we also learned a lot, and in turn, we have done everything we can to prepare for the difficult winter ahead.
As we enter the second national lockdown of the year, Magpas Air Ambulance is ready to respond to people in life-threatening emergencies across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and the East of England. We’re also ready to support the NHS once more by providing emergency patient transfers for some of the sickest patients, including those with Covid-19, between hospital intensive care units around the region. The Magpas medical team continues to treat all patients wearing full PPE and since the spring we have been able to establish supply chains that will ensure we have good stocks of protective equipment to see us through the second wave. The charity also invested in a state of the art decontamination unit, which uses hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate our equipment and uniforms, helping to keep our patients and team safe from the virus.
Measures like this mean that Magpas Air Ambulance is prepared to tackle the second wave of the pandemic head on. However with colder days and longer nights, combined with the consequences on general health from the first lockdown, this time around we have additional challenges to face.
In October we provided emergency lifesaving care to more than double the number of patients treated in April and we expect this demand to continue in the weeks and months ahead. Cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions and accidental injuries remain our most frequently attended incidents, but we’re also battling an increase in serious medical emergencies including serious self-harm. Combined with the usual health issues that winter brings we expect that this lockdown will be up to 45% busier for our service than the first.
Magpas Air Ambulance is a charity and we can’t operate without donations, but once more, national lockdown means that most of our fundraising activity has to stop. We were fortunate that at the beginning of the pandemic our supporters responded so incredibly when we asked for help and we are still humbled by their support. But like so many of us, dealing with the first wave has depleted lots of our resources and we have to be able to inspire new support if we are to continue to do all we can to keep you safe.
The coming weeks will be more difficult for all of us, but particularly for our teams on the front line flying to critically ill and injured patients every day and working through the night too, to continue saving as many lives as we can. I hope that once again you will stand alongside them and support Magpas Air Ambulance in any way possible. Even the smallest donation could make a life changing difference.
It’s only with you, we can save lives.
The coming weeks will be more difficult for all of us, but particularly for our teams on the front line. Thank you for your continued support, it really is appreciated.