The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has entered into an agreement with Manx Care to trial direct transfer of patients to trauma or other specialist centres in the northwest of England. The helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) will operate alongside the Island’s existing fixed wing air ambulance service, marking an expansion of emergency medical provision for the public. As at present, patients who need immediate hospital care will be brought to Noble’s Hospital and if they require further treatment off Island, subsequently transferred by fixed wing air ambulance.
The HEMS is intended for patients who are likely to need immediate specialist care in Liverpool or require specialist skills at the scene, and incoming 999 calls will be screened to identify those most likely to benefit. While the focus will be on trauma cases, it is hoped the new service will in future take patients with certain types of heart attacks quickly to Liverpool.
Gareth Davies, Manx Care’s Clinical Director of the Medicine, Urgent Care and Ambulance group said: “Having access to this HEMS service means emergency services will be able to reach patients fast and intervene as quickly as possible after serious injury or illness, and fly patients direct to definitive specialised care, which will give patients the best chance of survival and longer term outcomes.”
Bringing the emergency department to the island
Manx Care’s partnership with GNAAS is a step towards delivering on a key recommendation of Sir Jonathan Michael’s landmark review into heath and care services in the Isle of Man: the creation of an enhanced 24/7 emergency air bridge.
The GNAAS team arrived on the Island on 1 September to meet Noble’s Hospital and Manx Care staff as well as members of the Island’s emergency services and Civil Defence personnel. A simulated HEMS intervention was staged to test and demonstrate the capabilities of the service.
Andy Mawson, Paramedic and Director of operations at GNAAS said: “We carry expert doctor and paramedic teams on all our missions. They essentially bring the hospital’s emergency department to the scene with surgical techniques, anaesthetics and blood products available to give every patient the best chance of survival and recovery.”
The initial demand on GNAAS is expected to be around one call-out a month.