Children’s Air Ambulance reaches 200 missions with Yorkshire service
The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) has flown the Embrace Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Children’s Transport Service (Embrace) no fewer than 200 times.
The Children’s Air Ambulance is a national service, which supports paediatric and neonatal care through the high-speed, potentially lifesaving transfer of critically ill babies and children, flying them from one hospital to another for specialist care.
The charity works closely with 10 NHS retrieval teams across the UK- like Embrace- enabling the teams to bring their specialist equipment on board to safely transfer their patients.
Embrace, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, provides lifesaving care by a team of specialist doctors and nurses who travel with their patients by road ambulances, helicopters, and planes.
The landmark 200th mission on 10 August was to fly a patient to a specialist hospital in Yorkshire.
The flight took just 37 minutes. The same journey by land ambulance would have taken 1 hour and 25 minutes, and the longer a child is out of hospital, the greater the risk, so the time saved meant the little patient could get to the specialist care they needed quickly.
Commenting on the milestone, TCAA Operations Manager Alfie Daly said:
“It’s a great achievement for Embrace to have completed 200 air transfers with the Children’s Air Ambulance, and we are extremely privileged to have Embrace as one of the 10 clinical partner teams we work alongside.
“The collaborative working between TCAA and Embrace allows patients to receive specialist care approximately four times faster, and in turn, helps to save lives.”
The teamwork between Embrace and TCAA began in May 2013 with the charity’s first-ever patient transfer from Barnsley to Hull and has continued over the years, resulting in many young lives saved.
Dr Steve Hancock, Lead Consultant for paediatrics at Embrace, added:
“We are very proud to have carried out 200 missions with the Children’s Air Ambulance.
“The two world-class helicopters operated by the charity provide vital support to the NHS and allow teams like Embrace to transfer our patients long distances so they can receive the specialist care they require.”The two organisations will continue to work together to help save the lives of children when they need them most, like in the case of Autumn -Rose.
Autumn-Rose was born by emergency C-section at the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth, and she needed to be transferred to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent as quickly as possible.
The specialist team from Embrace prepared Autumn-Rose for the flight, made her comfortable in the bespoke BabyPod onboard the helicopter, and accompanied her on the 48-minute southbound journey.
Autumn-Roses’ mum Kerri Barkway said: “We will never forget the part the Children’s Air Ambulance played in getting the Embrace team to Great Yarmouth and then transferring them back with our daughter to the local hospital. We knew she was in the safest hands possible.”
“When we found out it is a charity and receives no government funding, we decided to do some fundraising towards the cost of Autumn-Rose’s flight. What they did for us was amazing, added Kerri.
Since the transfer with TCAA and Embrace in 2019, Autumn-Rose has celebrated her first birthday and is now, according to her mum Kerri, “always smiling.”