A LIFE-saving charity is supporting the NHS and emergency services by providing vital transport for patients.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, which operates from its base in Earls Colne, is just one of the charities which has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the air ambulance trust is still endeavouring to deliver its world class service to anyone who might need it.

Now the air ambulance is also providing urgent inter hospital transport for NHS patients to help hospitals cope with the unprecedented demand created by the virus.

The surge of patients has seen an escalating need for some patients to be transferred between hospitals.

To help with this, the trust has made its critical care team at Earls Colne available to transfer patients.

The new service will see the critical care team fly to a hospital in need and transport the patient to a new hospital via land ambulance before returning to base to prepare for further transfers.

The trust was approached and asked to assist due to the vital experience of its doctors and paramedic teams.

On top of the new service, the trust will continue to provide its 24/7 helicopter medical service as well.

The trust will also be using its resources to support the Mid and South Essex University Hospitals at Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals with a pre-hospital care doctor who will help with patient transfers between the three hospitals in the forthcoming weeks.

Stuart Elms, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance clinical director, said: “This is an unprecedented time for the nation, the charity, our supporters, our clinical team and indeed for all of our families, friends and colleagues.

“The speed with which we have all had to adapt to the changes brought by Covid-19 has been exceptionally fast, no-one could imagine the demand on the healthcare system over such a short period of time.

“We are also thinking of the patients, colleagues, friends, and family members who have become unwell during this pandemic.

“We are humbled and inspired by the strength of these people in often sad circumstances. Their courage gives us the inspiration to try even harder.”