- Advertisement -


Friday, 25 September 2020


East Anglian Air Ambulance adapt their operation to transfer COVID-19 patients

- Advertisement -
As hospitals in the region reach capacity treating COVID-19 patients, the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) will be doing more to support the NHS by providing critical care transfer teams to assist the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in moving COVID-19 patient between hospitals.

The air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic teams have the specialist skills, equipment and extensive experience to look after ventilated COVID-19 patients outside hospital. The charity will utilise its Cambridge-based helicopter to fly their medical teams around the region to man dedicated transfer ambulances, to take critically ill COVID-19 patients to hospitals with more intensive care capacity.

EAAA has assisted with the transfer of three COVID-19 patients so far but is gearing up for many more with the expected peak in hospitalised patients, and the consequential need for more transfers in the region, expected in the coming weeks. To meet the likely need for transfers during the daylight hours, the shift patterns for clinical teams at EAAA’s Cambridge base have been optimised to best meet demand and match the availability of the helicopter and pilots.

Matthew Jones, Director of Operations at EAAA, said:

“We are doing everything we can to support the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic, and the best way our critical care teams can help is to directly support hospitals when they reach capacity. By transferring critically ill patients to hospitals with spare capacity, we can use our specialist skills to make sure that those patients can continue to get the expert care they need while our hospitals manage unprecedented numbers of critical care patients.

“Like all medical professionals at the moment, our teams are working very hard in challenging conditions, but we’re doing everything we can to back up the NHS and quickly react to its needs. We expect the regional need to transfer patients to be as high as 50 a day, which is why we’re working in partnership with the NHS and other critical care organisations to set up this additional transfer team capacity.

“The EAAA critical care teams are still flying every day to respond to 999 calls and provide a helicopter emergency medical service for the region, as well as supporting with the care of COVID-19 patients. EAAA is also helping to fight the pandemic by seconding some of its staff to the NHS to share their specialist skills.”

East Anglian Air Ambulance team transfer a COVID-19 patient. Photograph credit: EAAA

On Easter Sunday an EAAA team transferred a critically ill COVID-19 patient from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Doctor Rishi Rallan and Critical Care Paramedic Tim Daniels arrived at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, by helicopter from Cambridge, at 1:47pm. The patient was carefully assessed and monitored throughout the hour and a half road journey, arriving at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at 4:27pm.

Doctor Pam Chrispin, Deputy Medical Director at EAAA, has been seconded to NHS England to set up the specialist COVID-19 transfer programme and to co-ordinate specialist care resources across the region. Another member of EAAA staff, Head of Community Operations Alison Brett, has been seconded to the Nightingale Hospital in East London to work directly with relatives of critically ill patients.

Matthew Jones continued:

“Last week we launched an appeal to help us fund the personal protective equipment (PPE) we need to protect our crews when they’re working on the frontline and have been amazed at the response we’ve had already. We are aiming to raise £100,000 to help cover the unbudgeted PPE costs our operation is facing to fight COVID-19 and would like to thank everyone who has supported our appeal so far. Without the right PPE, we can’t assist with these transfers, so it’s vital that our staff are properly protected to carry out this vital role, and as a charity, we rely on support from the community to carry out our work. ”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

Cancer patients to benefit from pioneering CyberKnife radiotherapy

THE Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has funded a brand-new state of the art CyberKnife treatment unit, the first model of its kind in the...

Quick-thinking five-year-old saves dad’s life after seizure

A five-year-old girl has been praised for saving her father’s life after he collapsed. Avaana Samuel was at home in Worcester Park, Sutton, when her...
- Advertisement -

Employment News

From Chairman to Patron, John Corless OBE continues his 50 years of supporting Phab

PHAB has announced that following his retirement in June as Chairman of Phab, John Corless OBE has accepted the role of Patron, succeeding Lord...

Penny Appeal appoints experienced new Director of International Programmes

PENNY Appeal is pleased to confirm the appointment of Monica Blagescu as its interim Director of International Programmes. The move is part of a...

End of an era for Cheshire Charity Chief

LEADING Cheshire Charity Active Cheshire has formally announced the departure of their long-serving CEO, Anne Boyd. Anne has led the Charity for 8 years, transforming,...

Related News

A million successes for hungry children

In March 2020 children’s food charity Magic Breakfast launched an emergency fundraising appeal ‘Keeping Breakfast Going’, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure that...

Grant giving charity supports Dorset Reclaim with £20,000 donation

DORSET Reclaim, a charity which provides low-income families with access to affordable furniture and white goods, successfully applied for a £20,000 grant from the...

North East E-bike trial hopes to start a chain reaction

RISE, a North East charity, is looking for volunteers from Wallsend to try out electric bicycles from local company Ride Electric for six months. Seventeen...

Cyber criminals stole over £4m from older people in the UK last year, Age UK reveals

OLDER people in the UK lost over £4m last year, according to new cybercrime data acquired by the charity Age UK. A Freedom of Information...

Over 88,000 students may be problem gamblers, warns charity as universities return

THE Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has warned that the drastic change to student life this year could increase the risk of...
- Advertisement -