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Hospital air transfers

Ensuring children access vital medical treatment or care

Lia's Wings provides air transfers using aeroplanes to ensure that children can access the essential care and treatment they need. This includes:

When babies are born prematurely whilst their parents are away from home, we fly them to a neonatal unit closer to home. We are able to fly children born as early as 23 weeks gestation in our own intensive care flight-ready incubator.

Neonatal care

Should a child need an urgent transplant, we can mobilise our service within two hours to fly them to a specialist hospital to receive the transplant. These transfers can be life-saving for a child.

Urgent surgery including transplants

Specialist investigations or care

We fly children to specialist children’s hospitals across the UK to receive treatment or care at centres of excellence. We often fly children to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Great North Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Repatriation after specialist care

Our aircraft provide a clean environment to reduce the risk of infection for children flying  post-surgery or treatment. This ensures children can safely be transferred back to a local hospital which is closer to their home and family.

When a child needs an urgent air ambulance transfer whilst overseas, we fly them back to the UK and help integrate them back into NHS care. We also fly children for specialist treatment overseas when it is approved by the NHS, but not offered in the UK.

Overseas air transfers

The only aeroplane ambulance charity in the UK

We are the only charity in the UK that flies children using aeroplanes. Aeroplanes give us the flexibility to cater for children with a variety of health conditions whilst also providing a reliable service for our families. We use aeroplanes so that we can:

  • Take on a wider variety of long-distance transfers

  • Pressurise the cabin to support children with breathing difficulties

  • Fly at sea level to ensure less pressure on a child’s brain

  • Provide a clean environment for children post-surgery

  • Reduce noise and vibration for premature babies who are travelling a long distance

  • Provide emergency treatment if required - the larger cabin space allows for this

  • Offer parents the opportunity to accompany their child

Supporting the NHS

London Neonatal Transfer Service logo
Embrace logo
Sonet logo
PANDR logo

We work closely with NHS Transport Teams across the UK to move children between hospitals. Together, we ensure children can access the vital treatment or care they need, wherever they are in the UK.

We also provide a free, innovative education and training programme for medical staff that qualifies them to undertake Lia's Wings air transfers. The more medical staff that are trained in 'flight', the more children we are able to reach.

Our flight operators

We work with two flight operators, Capital Air Ambulance and IAS Medical, to fly babies and children across the UK. We do not own an aircraft as the cost of keeping a specially equipped aircraft constantly on standby would be far too expensive. Instead, our flight operators provide exactly what we need when we need it. Capital Air Ambulance is based at Bristol Airport and IAS Medical is based at Teesside Airport. Their ideal positioning, in the north and south of the country, ensures we can quickly respond to referrals, wherever the child is in the UK.

Capital Air Ambulance Logo
IAS Medical Logo
Lia’s Wings ambition is to ensure that every British baby and child can access vital medical treatment and care.
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