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Yorkshire’s dedicated transport service for critically ill children receives global accreditation

Embrace helicopter and team
01 June 2021

Yorkshire’s very own intensive care transport service for critically ill infants and children has again received global recognition for its dedication to quality patient care and safety.

The Embrace Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Children’s Transport Service, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, provides life saving care by a team of specialist doctors and nurses who travel with their patients by road ambulances, helicopters and planes.

The team has been re-accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) Global after being assessed on patient care and safety in the transport environment.

In 2017 Embrace became the first service to become dual accredited by CAMTS and CAMTS-EU (now rebranded as CAMTS Global). This year, the team welcome their re-accreditation by CAMTS-Global which shows they meet the high standard for a service operating in Europe.

Dr Steve Hancock, Lead Consultant for paediatrics at Embrace, said: “This is a great achievement for the team and we’re all really pleased to continue receiving the accreditation. We work hard to make sure we’re providing the very best service we can for patients and their families, whether that’s a long ambulance journey or a trip in the helicopter.

“This re-accreditation is a great acknowledgement of the team’s dedication to continue to work to the highest possible international standard, and I’m really proud of that. It isn’t just the team who worked to achieve this, we are grateful to our partner organisations, who are all part of making sure we provide a quality and safe service.”

Embrace works closely with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, The Children’s Air Ambulance,  Air Alliance and IAS Medical. Each of these partners provides support for road or aeromedical transfers and all played an important role in this significant re-accreditation.

Head of Operations, Philip Bridle adds: “On behalf of the Children’s Air Ambulance, we’d like to congratulate the team at Embrace for their re-accreditation by CAMTS Global.

“CAMTS accreditation provides a standard for everything. Embrace are a very specialist team undertaking the transfers on-board our aircraft and the this accreditation demonstrates that high and safe standards are being met across the board – absolutely everything is inspected including the way each party integrates with the others to create a coherent operation, so re-accreditation such as this is fantastic.”

Jackie Cole, Head of Operations (South Yorkshire) at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “The well-established model and excellent reputation of the Embrace service for infants and children is a great example of partnership working.  This re-accreditation endorses the quality of what is a much valued service for transporting the most poorly young patients to receive the care they need.”

Embrace is based in Barnsley, but transfers children across the region and in some cases across the country or around the world. In 2020 Embrace transferred 1763 newborn babies and children, carried out 23 helicopter missions, 11 fixed wing missions.

The past year has seen the team adapt to new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting colleagues across the region. One recent change includes supporting the rapid development of an adult critical care transport service for the region. This service began in February 2021 and Embrace hope to support the delivery of a permanent  adult transport team for Yorkshire later this year.

To receive the accreditation, Embrace had to be measured against a stringent set of criteria based around patient care, safety and service operations to judge whether the service was worthy of accreditation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment was virtual.

Find out more about our Embrace service. Visit the CAMTS Global website for more details about CAMTS.

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