Business and community leaders to direct new Northern Ireland air ambulance charity

22-Apr-2010 Source: Ireland Air Ambulance

A new company has been formed with the ambition to operate a helicopter emergency medical service in Northern Ireland.  The company, Ireland Air Ambulance has recruited a board of directors with considerable business experience and cross community representation.

At the same time the association, Ireland Air Ambulance will cease operations transferring its assets to the new company.

The company aims to establish a world-class clinical service organisation to provide emergency and trauma care complimentary to existing ambulance services and in line with Northern Ireland’s health commissioning plans.  The board is conducting a series of engagements with key stakeholders to ensure that the feasibility of such a service is fully explored and that there is a strong business case and the public support to generate the sums of money that will be required to operate such a service on a sustainable basis.

The board is appointing an auditor to ensure that the assets and liabilities of the previous association are fully understood.  The board is made up of people from Ireland, all highly respected in their communities and in the field of business.  They believe they have the capability and capacity to deliver this project.

Roy Orr, a Northern Ireland business owner, who has helped put the board together said: “our board is fully committed to exploring the feasibility to put an emergency helicopter into service.

“The board is representative of the community and has considerable business expertise that demonstrates to our stakeholders and public that we have the credibility to deliver what is a sizeable business undertaking that will need to attract significant support and monies.

“The project is all about improving health care in the fields of emergency and trauma medicine and we need the public to get behind us and support what we are doing.”

The company is proposing to undertake a feasibility exercise to determine an evidence base for a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) in the north of Ireland and to ensure that such a service is congruent with commissioning plans and priorities such as the modernisation programme, secondary care targets, health efficacy and expenditure challenges.

The company will also set out a proposed charitable governance structure. It will develop the clinical model including standards, performance measures, standard operating procedures, risk management and detailed aspects such as resourcing, dispatch and overall clinical governance.

It will establish the operational aspects such as landing infrastructure and consider the level of public support and ability to source the funding for such a service through charitable giving.

The charity is relying on continued public support and will communicate more details of its plans in the near future.


Notes in support of the statement

The association, Ireland Air Ambulance (IAA) previously known by the name Alpha 5 will cease trading under a legal process of dissolution and the three existing trustees will stand down.  Ireland Air Ambulance (company number NI074051) is an incorporated company limited by guarantee with eight board members also acting as trustees.  The trustees are non-executives and not remunerated for undertaking that role.  IAA is recognised as a charity by the HM Revenue and Customs registration number XR98095.  The legal instruments to make this change are being enacted and due formalities are in the process of being completed.

The board of directors of IAA is appointing an independent auditor, securing legal advice and specialist business and clinical advisory support to undertake this process. An introduction to the board of directors and their advisers is set out below.

Jerry Carr, co-founder and director of IAA is to stand down and will no longer be an employee. The three existing association trustees stand down.  The new company will be appointing a small number of employees to take the work forward.  However, a number of other employees will be leaving as a result of this change.

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