A HELICOPTER emergency service has become the first to be rated outstanding in all areas.

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), a registered charity, was rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

Chief executive David Welch said: “Receiving an outstanding rating from the CQC across the board is testament to the dedication and commitment of our exceptional team, who work tirelessly to ensure the right treatments and best possible outcomes for our patients.

“My sincere thanks go to every single member of team KSS – staff, volunteers, partners and stakeholders – all of whom have contributed to this amazing achievement.”

KSS provides emergency care across the three counties in the South East to save lives.

Its crews of pilots, doctors and paramedics fly more than 2,500 missions a year in one of the busiest areas in the UK, serving a population of 4.8 million. Of the £14 million needed to sustain the service annually, 89 per cent is raised by public fundraising.