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Information for Health Professionals

Whether it's distance, time, resources or complexity - whatever the challenge - Lia's Wings is here to help get your paediatric or neonatal patient to the right place at the right time in the quickest and safest way possible.

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Flight information for parents

Flight consent form for parents

How we can help

Lia's Wings has a team of paediatric and neonatal nurses, consultants and advanced nurse practitioners who are all experienced NHS transport team staff. We will plan and arrange for the transfer to be carried out by road or air using the most appropriate skill-mix based on the patient's needs. Where Lia's Wings are not the best team to carry out the transfer we will make suitable arrangements with partner organisations. Thanks to our generous supporters, all of this is done without costing the NHS a penny.

Clinical criteria

We do not have any specific clinical criteria for suitability for transfer, and we are happy to discuss referrals at any point in the patient journey. For neonatal patients we have a full-size transport incubator, and our ventilator can provide all common invasive modes, CPAP/BiPAP and High Flow Oxygen, but we cannot oscillate. We do not have a minimum patient gestation, weight or age, rather the decision to transfer and the right timing is based on the best interests of the patient in discussion with the sending and receiving centre.

Flights

Lia's Wings specialises in providing fixed-wing flight transfer. This involves arranging a road ambulance from the sending hospital to the nearest suitable airport, flying the patient as close to their destination as possible, then arranging a second road ambulance to complete the journey. All of this is done by Lia's Wings as a bed-to-bed service. Flights in the South of England are usually carried out by Capital Air Ambulance and flights in the North of England are usually carried out by the Embrace NHS team working with IAS Medical. Both companies use small business aircraft with pressurised cabins. 

Parents

We want to involve parents in the transfer of their baby or child as closely as possible. We are available to talk ahead of a transfer and answer any questions they may have. We will almost always have a parent accompany their child during the transfer, with very rare occasions where the need for a larger clinical team and lack of seats makes this a challenge. Parents often choose to stay in touch with Lia's Wings after the transfer and for many families we are a source of continuity and ongoing support.

Governance

Although Lia's Wings arranges the transfer and provides support to the family, the flight is supervised and sits within the governance of the relevant clinical team. In the North of England this is usually Embrace (NHS team) and in the South it is usually Capital Air Ambulance (a private company). All organisations involved are CQC registered and suitably accredited and insured, and all staff are specialist neonatal or paediatric nurses and doctors with appropriate transport expertise.

Preparing for transfer

We will discuss a specific clinical plan as part of the referral process. For neonatal transfers, 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 if things change?

It's not uncommon for a patient's condition to change in the days leading up to a transfer. In theory we can arrange a transfer for a patient in almost any condition, but a decision will need to be made about whether transfer is in the patient's best interests. Please make contact as soon as possible if there is any change in the patient'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.

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