On 21 April, air ambulance provider AirMed UK announced that it had become the first ever European aircraft operator to successful apply for and gain accreditation from the US-based Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).
David Quayle, chief flight nurse for the organisation, and leader of the accreditation process, commented: “This is a huge achievement for us. We are one of only two operators [of aircraft] situated outside North America who have received this accreditation and on top of that we are only of only four operators worldwide who have received dual accreditation from both CAMTS and the European Aero-Medical Institute (EURAMI).”
Jane Topliss, director of business development, explained the reasoning behind the move: “Following discussions with prospective new US-based clients, it become clear that there was a growing need that their air ambulance providers had to not only have accreditation, but specifically CAMTS accreditation. We therefore took the decision to start the application process.”
It was not a totally smooth process, however, according to Quayle: “One of the major difficulties we had to face when going through this process is the fact that the CAMTS standards are derived from the US healthcare and aviation regulatory system. Despite the feeling that the UK is closely aligned with the US, when it comes to both of these complex areas we are actually more closely aligned with continental Europe. We had to adapt the criteria of each aspect of the CAMTS standards to our UK system in a ways that still demonstrated clear compliance.”