Future of North East NHS ambulance service safeguarded with £1.6m in funding from HSBC UK
A private North East ambulance service, which is currently providing emergency transport services to the NHS amid the coronavirus crisis, has secured a £1.6 million finance package from HSBC UK to safeguard its future.
IAS Medical, which typically provides air ambulance services to fly sick and injured citizens back to the UK from across the world, is using the funding to meet its monthly financial commitments and continue providing crucial emergency services to the NHS using its fleet of ground ambulances.
With global travel restrictions still in place and much of the UK’s airspace closed, IAS has seen a sharp decline in demand for its air ambulance services, resulting in revenue losses of approximately £450,000 a month since the start of April 2020.
However, the business, which employs 52 people in the North East, has seen a spike in demand for its ground ambulance services during Covid-19. IAS has been supporting the NHS by transporting patients from infected hospitals to alternative local hospitals where they can be treated safely.
The funding from HSBC UK forms part of the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Peter Roberts, Managing Director at IAS Medical, said: “HSBC UK’s much-needed support has allowed us to continue operating at a time when our air ambulance flights, and income have dramatically reduced. The CBILS loan has enabled us to cover our monthly fixed costs including hangarage, insurance and rent that are independent from, and remain payable, whether or not our air ambulance aircraft fly.”
David Slane, Area Director for the North East at HSBC UK, added: “IAS Medical provides a crucial lifeline to the NHS and UK citizens, particularly in the North East, so we’re delighted to help it remain operational and secure its long term future at a time when its services and expertise are needed most.”
In addition to air ambulances, IAS Medical has a fleet of paediatric ICU ambulances based at the Great North Children Hospital in Newcastle-Upon Tyne. Its aircraft is based at Teesside International Airport and East Midlands Airport and its customers include the NHS, UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the UK Government.
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