London's first night-flying air ambulance

Victims of “county lines” drugs gangs are likely to benefit from London’s first night-flying medical helicopter, doctors said today.

The helipad at King’s College Hospital, in Denmark Hill, began receiving patients at night last month, with flights operated by Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Air Ambulance.

Kent has seen a 152 per cent rise in knife crime since 2010 which police and doctors believe is linked to urban drugs gangs moving into provincial towns.

Dr Malcolm Tunnicliff, clinical director and consultant in emergency medicine at King’s, said: “Traditionally, more rural county-based HEMS [helicopter emergency medical services] does not see much penetrating trauma. 

“In the last six months to a year, we have seen a huge increase in the penetrating trauma we attend to in places like Ashford and Maidstone.” 

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Source: Evening Standard (

Dave Hawkins