THE number of missions flown by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has more than doubled this year.

In the first six months of 2019, the charity was tasked to 1,075 missions — a 62 per cent increase on the 662 missions during the same period last year.

July this year was the busiest month to date for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which responded to 244 incidents across the region.

The figures have been released to mark National Air Ambulance Week, which starts today (Monday) and runs until Sunday.

The charity's director of operations, Nick Thuilliez, said: “The arrival of our new trainee paramedics has allowed us to increase staffing levels for our CCTVs and dispatch desk so that, ultimately, we can respond to more patients in their hour of need.

"In addition, thanks to improved data, we have repositioned our vehicles closer to where they are most likely to be needed.

"As a life-saving charity, our patients are at the heart of every strategic decision we make.”