The United Kingdom air ambulance services market share witnessed significant growth and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 13.4% during the forecast period (2023-2031)
Air ambulances are fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft or helicopters outfitted with a critical care unit and medical supplies to treat medical crises, patient transfers, and life-saving rescue operations in locations where ground vehicles cannot reach. The majority of the fleet's equipment consists of ICU respirators, ECG monitors, defibrillators, external pacemakers, capnometers, transport monitors, syringe pumps, blood glucose analyzers, suction units, ultrasound systems, non-invasive cardiac support pumps, fiber optic intubation systems with monitors, vacuum mattresses, cervical spine immobilization collars, intubation sets, and vacuum mattresses with monitors. Hospitals or local governments may be in charge of air ambulance services.
The necessity is pushing the market for air ambulance services in the United Kingdom for quick medical response, rising demand for emergency medical services, and government backing. These criteria guarantee that patients receive timely and specialized care, hence improving the efficacy of the country's healthcare system.
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The geographical arrangement of the United Kingdom, which includes distant locations and islands, presents difficulties for ground transportation in emergency medical emergencies. Air ambulance services are critical in bridging the gap and providing patients with timely transportation in these places. East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) is one example of a UK air ambulance service. It is a nonprofit organization that operates two helicopters in the East Anglia region. In an emergency, the EAAA offers patients acute treatment and speedy medical evacuation, saving lives and improving results.
Air ambulance services are often used in the United Kingdom in emergencies where time is of the essence. For example, air ambulances can swiftly reach patients and transport them to proper medical facilities in distant rural locations with limited hospital access. This is especially important in trauma, serious injuries, or medical problems requiring quick action. According to an Association of Air Ambulances study, air ambulance services in the United Kingdom react to thousands of crises yearly. Air ambulances flew over 25,000 missions in 2020, delivering patients to hospitals or providing on-site medical care. These missions range from reacting to severe incidents to transferring patients between hospitals in an emergency. The necessity for rapid and specialized medical aid in critical situations is driving the demand for air ambulance services.
The availability of a well-developed healthcare system in the United Kingdom, comprising specialized medical facilities and highly qualified healthcare staff, contributes to the need for air ambulance services. The demand for air ambulance services is driven by the need to promptly transport critically ill or injured patients to adequate medical facilities. According to a Care Quality Commission assessment, air ambulance services in the United Kingdom performed approximately 20,000 missions in 2019-2020. This demonstrates the high demand for these services and their critical position in the healthcare system.
Charitable organizations run most air ambulance services in the United Kingdom. A variety of charitable organizations, including Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Great North Air Ambulance, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, London's Air Ambulance Charity, and Essex & Hert Air Ambulance, are responsible for the operation of the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) that are offered throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Currently, there are 23 air ambulance charities around the United Kingdom, out of which Air Ambulances UK backs 21, and together they operate 39 air ambulances. IAS Medical is one of the private companies in the United Kingdom that offers emergency medical care in the nation and repatriation services to patients in other parts of the world. IAS Medical is one of the companies that operate fixed-wing air ambulances in the country. A total of 44 air ambulances operate in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom.
According to Age UK, around 12 million persons in the United Kingdom are 65 or older. The challenge that aging societies present to healthcare systems is significant. Patients who are elderly often have several health problems, including frailty, malnutrition, loss of sensory function, and frequent falls that can result in hip fractures, dementia, and cardiovascular disease, amongst other conditions. Older people are the most likely to be injured in an accident and require rapid medical treatment. In the U.K., around 218,000 emergency cases connected to fractures and falls in 2017-2018 required immediate medical care from the hospital. These cases required immediate medical assistance from the hospital. Because an increasing number of individuals in the UK are reaching age 65 and may occasionally require immediate emergency medical care, the demand for HEMS services is expected to rise over the next few years.
The United Kingdom air ambulance services market is segmented based on type, application, and country.
The market is further segmented by type into Rotary wing and fixed wing.
The rotary wing contributes a major market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period.
Rotary-wing aircraft, like helicopters, move people needing medical care over short distances that need to be covered quickly. Because of this, helicopters are often used by emergency services all over the world. Because they can land almost anywhere, they are useful when a ground ambulance has trouble getting to the patient. Rotary-winged planes have trouble going long distances because they can't hold as much fuel.
Aircraft with fixed wings driven by jet engines or propellers are fixed-wing aircraft. They are commonly used for long-distance travel since they need regular recharging. Fixed-wing aircraft are frequently used in the medical tourism sector and for transferring very ill patients to the appropriate medical institution for specialized care.
The market is further segmented into Hospital-based community-based by application.
Community-based holds a major market share and is expected to register a CAGR of 15.1% over the forecast period.
Community-based operations are expected to account for a sizable portion of the air ambulance industry since they are better familiar with local demand. Most enterprises in the industry are nonprofit or community-based organizations that generate funds through regional fundraisers. Members who give money to the charity receive significant discounts while using the air ambulance services.
Hospital-based services are aircraft taxis that hospitals use to move patients, help emergency patients outside the hospital, and do organ donation missions. The government or a private hospital can pay for them, and the patient must also pay for the cost of getting there and back. In the last ten years, hospital-based services have become more popular. Still, hospitals have recently learned that hiring a private air ambulance provider is much cheaper than buying and operating their planes.