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Information for clinicians

Lia’s Wings is a national charity supporting the NHS by providing specialist long distance transfers for neonatal and paediatric patients. We are very pleased to offer this flight transfer. This leaflet will give you a bit more information about the process. 

Who will fund the flight? 

There is no NHS funding for neonatal flights within England. Lia’s Wings raises money to fund emergency and repatriation transfers at a cost of £10,000 - £12,000 per flight.

Who will carry out the transfer? 

The flight is carried out by a private air ambulance service, usually Capital Air Ambulance. All clinical team members also work for the London Neonatal Transfer Service or other regional NHS transport teams across the UK. The team skill-mix will be decided based on the clinical acuity. All transfers are bed to bed, you do not need to arrange ambulances. 

What kind of aircraft will it be? 

We used fixed-wing planes similar to a private business jet, giving a smooth transfer in a pressurised cabin. The plane has a power supply for the incubator and medical oxygen supply. 

What are the clinical criteria for transfer? 

We can usually fly any baby that would be suitable for transfer by your regional transport service. We have a full-size flight incubator, and our ventilator can provide all common invasive modes, CPAP/BiPAP and High Flow Oxygen; we cannot oscillate. The decision to transfer is usually based on the best interests of the baby rather than any specific clinical criteria, and we are happy to discuss referrals at any point in the baby’s journey. 

Can a parent come on the flight? 

We will always have a parent on the flight if possible. On occasion due to team skill mix and supervision needs we may not have a spare seat on the plane, in which case we will make sure the parents are aware in advance. 

Can you carry breast milk? 

Yes, we have a portable freezer that can carry frozen milk. We can also carry a small quantity of defrosted milk. For longer flights in good weather, we may give a partial feed in the air. 

What preparations does the baby need? Do they need a cannula? 

We will discuss a specific clinical plan for the flight as part of the referral process. In general, we will ask for: 

  • One peripheral cannula for babies in room air or low-flow oxygen, two otherwise 

  • IV fluids (+/- electrolytes) for 2x the duration of transfer, aliquots in 50mL syringes 

  • Nasogastric tube in situ with supply of syringes (4x 20mL) 

  • Breast milk in labelled containers 

  • 48 hours’ supply of any specialist formula or non-stock drugs 

  • Drugs drawn up and labelled that need to be administered during the transfer 

  • Printed copies of the discharge summary, drug chart, weight chart, observations chart, recent blood and microbiology results 

  • Copies of any safeguarding handover 

  • Recent x-ray and blood gas to be taken for babies on respiratory support 

  • Images to be electronically linked to the accepting unit 

What happens if the baby’s condition changes? 

In theory babies can be transferred in almost any condition, but a decision will need to be made about whether transfer is in the baby’s best interests. Please make contact as soon as possible if there is any change in the baby’s condition. Cancellations within 48 hours of transfer may mean that charity money cannot be recovered, so we would like to avoid this as far as possible.

Contact details for Lia’s Wings 

General Enquiries

Phone: 0300 140 9980


Charlotte Young, CEO

Phone: 0204 583 6130


Dr Lee Collier, Medical Director

Phone: 0204 583 6133


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