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Children’s Air Ambulance Carries Out Inaugural Mission

The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) has flown its inaugural mission from its new London Oxford air base.

The charity successfully transferred a patient with the South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) specialist transport team from London to Cardiff on Wednesday 19 September.

Commenting on the transfer, Shelley Riphagen, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, home of STRS, said: “The STRS team involved in the transfer reported it was a pleasure and privilege to transfer our patient in the only purpose built children’s intensive care helicopter in England. The journey time was reduced by over two-and-a-half hours and ensured the child arrived safely.”

The Children’s Air Ambulance is the first and only dedicated paediatric and neonatal transfer helicopter service in the country operating four times faster than road transfer.

The charity is funded entirely by donations and works closely with nine NHS Clinical Partner Teams across Great Britain.

Commenting on the mission, Children’s Air Ambulance Director of Operations Richard Clayton said: “I’m absolutely delighted to support the hard work of our NHS specialist transfer team on this long distance transfer before returning the team back to London.

“It’s a very special moment for the charity. This is the culmination of a seven-year project and the fact we have carried out our first patient transfer in the new aircraft is a monumental event for the charity and for everyone involved in bringing this to fruition.”

Since 2013 the charity has completed more than 300 missions with its NHS clinical partners operating out of the Midlands with one aircraft but the decision to provide two helicopters at bases in the north and south of Great Britain will enable the charity to meet more needs with a target of 600 missions a year.

We are the only helicopter emergency transfer service in the country dedicated to children.

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