First flight for The Children's Air Ambulance

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The UK's Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and sister service Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) have announced their takeover of The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) to provide a national bespoke helicopter transfer service for seriously ill children that need to be moved safely and quickly between hospitals for specialist care.
WNAA and DLRAA claim to be the busiest air ambulances in the UK, carrying out more than 220 missions a month. This year WNAA, flying out of Coventry Airport, celebrated the eighth anniversary of the launch of the service. The extra three counties of Derbyshire, Rutland and Leicestershire were added in 2008, from a base at East Midlands Airport.
Registered charity TCAA was formed in 2005 to finance the operation of a specialist children’s transfer service, but has been unable to realise this ambition. WNAA said it will make TCAA a reality in 2012.
Andy Williamson, WNAA chief executive officer, said: “We know how important it is for patients to receive the highest standards of specialist medical care. And there are hundreds of critically ill children every year who need the advanced care that only a specialist paediatric hospital unit can provide. Transferring a child to a specialist hospital by land, sometimes hundreds of miles away, can be medically dangerous for the young patient and cause untold stress to the family. In taking over TCAA, we will be able to make this air transfer service an operational reality, applying the same standards of excellence that are the hallmark of our existing helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS), which we remain wholly committed to.”
TCAA will operate a dedicated helicopter from Coventry Airport and transfer critically ill children from hospitals across the country to specialist units. An initial flight was made in early January onboard a WNAA helicopter to take a baby with breathing difficulties and her mother from Stratford-upon-Avon Hospital to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. The patient was stabilised during the flight.

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