On Monday 4 February, during the BBC South West ‘Inside Out’ programme, there was a feature about The Air Ambulance Service’s proposed Children’s Air Ambulance service.
Heléna Holt, Chief Executive of Devon Air Ambulance Trust said: “We would like to take the opportunity to reassure the people of Devon that their local Air Ambulances can and do provide both emergency and transfer services for children and babies.”
Nigel Hare, Operations Manager for Devon Air Ambulance Trust added: “We are currently the only Air Ambulance in the country that has a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved incubator. This was purchased in 2006 and since this time we have carried out 45 paediatric and neonatal transfers from hospitals across the South West Peninsula, from Treliske to Dorchester, to locations all over the country including Manchester, Oswestry and London.”
“Under 16s represent about 10% of our annual work load. Last year we responded to about 100 children. Although we don’t do a lot of paediatric transfers, which is primarily because DAAT is able to take our youngest patients straight to the specialist hospitals that they need to go to in the first place.”
“If any patient in Devon needs a transfer, we can get to any of our hospitals within 20 minutes and from there to London, for example, in under an hour. This is all only possible thanks to the generous support Devon Air Ambulance receives from the community.”