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Pilot scheme has 'changed critical care forever'

A specialist service to transport critically ill and injured patients is being copied around England after the success of a trial in the South West.

More than 700 patients have been transported since the pilot scheme began a year ago.

Retrieve was set-up to transport the most seriously ill patients between intensive care units to take pressure off ambulance and hospital staff.

Six other regions around England are now developing a similar service.

"Everyone will have a service that looks similar to Retrieve by the end of next year which is amazing in the short period of time that we've been talking about it," said Dr Scott Grier, lead consultant for Retrieve.

Dr Grier said critically unwell patients need to be transported between hospitals for various reasons, though frequently to be treated in a hospital specialising in the care they require.

The service, which operates in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, is funded by NHS England and Improvement South West and costs £3.2m a year.

"It sounds expensive but it's an efficient service and every time we make a transfer we save the hospital and staff time and those hospitals can care for other people while we care for their patients on the move.

"It's incredibly exciting because we have changed this area of critical care forever," added Dr Grier.

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Source: BBC News, 5 January 2021


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