England

Great North Air Ambulance 'excellence centre' plan

GNAAS helicopter Image copyright GNAAS
Image caption The move would take Great North Air Ambulance Service to "the next level", its trustee has said

Plans for a centre for medical excellence in the north-east of England have been announced by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The charity wants to bring crews, fundraising and admin staff under one roof and enhance research and training.

Its main operational base is currently at Durham Tees Valley Airport, with admin and fundraising offices in Darlington and Newton Aycliffe.

The charity has applied for £1.9m in government funding.

Sites in the Darlington and Tees Valley area are being considered. The Cumbria operation would be unaffected.

Trustee Grahame Pickering said it would take the service to "the next level".

"We are offering more comprehensive care year on year. The new site would give us the perfect platform to be able to take this further, as well as space to share that knowledge with other emergency services for the benefit of patients everywhere," he added.

GNASS, which covers the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire, started carrying blood on board as part of scheme which started in January 2015.

The charity said in April 18 lives had been saved as a result.

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