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Life-saving ambulance service marks birthday

A life-saving service for critically ill and injured hospital patients celebrates its first birthday today.

The East of England Adult Critical Care Transfer Service is welcoming guests from all over the region to its base on Cambridge Research Park in Waterbeach.

The service, commissioned by NHS England and led by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has transported more than 500 patients in the last 12 months in ambulances that covered more than 65,000 miles.

Adult critical care ambulance and crew members standing in front of it
Service co-clinical director and Addenbrooke's anesthetist Dr Anne Booth (front) with team members

Senior critical care lead nurse Hannah Donald said:

“The service was set up to support and enhance other emergency transport services, and has played a vital role in saving lives over the last 12 months.

We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved and today is all about celebrating that, and saying a big thank you to everyone who had made it such a success.

Hannah Donald

Due at the celebration, funded by the senior leadership team, are Addenbrooke’s Hospital staff who were key to setting up the service and staff from the 18 regional hospitals it serves.

A special guest with a remarkable story to tell is Peterborough patient Tony Bennett who was taken under blue light to Royal Papworth Hospital for a life-saving procedure. He was joined by his grateful children and grandchildren, who thought they would never see him again.

The East of England Adult Critical Care Transfer Service provides timely transfer of critically ill and injured adults who need moving to another hospital for specialist and intensive care. It also offers a repatriation service.

The team consists of a transfer consultant, a transfer practitioner, and a transfer technician, and is supported by around 30 doctors and practitioners from around the East of England.

In addition to CUH and NHS England it works in close partnership with the East of England Critical Care Network - representing intensive care units throughout the region, the East of England Ambulance Service and St John's Ambulance.