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William to mark 30th anniversary of London’s Air Ambulance

UK News | Published:

The Duke of Cambridge is a former air ambulance pilot.

Duke of Cambridge

The Duke of Cambridge is to mark the 30th anniversary of London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) by meeting the professionals behind the service.

William will chat to LAA’s pilots, clinicians and paramedics next week to hear first hand about the challenges they face responding to emergency call-outs across the capital.

The duke is a former air ambulance pilot, who flew for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and has spoken of his time with the charity.

Duke of Cambridge
William flew for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (Heathcliff O’Malley/The Daily Telegraph)

The LAA was established in 1989 following a growing consensus of opinion that victims of serious accidents were dying because of the delay in expert medical help reaching them, and the time it took to transport patients to hospital.

The service pioneered the doctor-on-board model for air ambulances and aims to bring the hospital emergency department to the scene of an incident.

During his visit to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, in east London, on January 9, William will also learn about the work the LAA is undertaking in the area of mental health support for its staff.

The Duke of Cambridge with colleagues
The Duke of Cambridge with colleagues during his last air ambulance shift (Heathcliff O’Malley/The Daily Telegraph)

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The duke will then join staff, patients and their families at a tea party marking the 30th anniversary of London’s Air Ambulance.

When William announced in January 2017 that he would be leaving his role with the air ambulance that summer,  he said in a statement: “It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

“Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come.”

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with the Duke of Cambridge
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Cambridge Airport to mark the opening of the East Anglian Air Ambulance’s new base (Niklas Halle’n/PA)

The duke joined EAAA as a pilot in March 2015 and, after completing an initial period of job-specific training involving simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills training, began piloting his first operational missions in July 2015 before his last in July 2017.

Throughout his service William was based at Cambridge Airport as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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