For Families

From my first phone call with Nicola to the twins flight and finally saying goodbye to her and the team our twin’s welfare and care needs were treated as a priority.  I felt that because of Lucy AAC’s professionalism I had a huge sense of trust in them and they provided a friendly personal touch throughout our journey.

Having a baby or child who is seriously ill can be an extremely difficult and stressful experience and cause a lot of uncertainty which can make you feel vulnerable and out of control. In some instances, a child is too sick to tolerate a long journey by road ambulance and in these situations the safest way to transport your child will be by air ambulance, either, to a more specialised unit or to a hospital closer to home. We hope the information provided here will help to answer some of the questions you have about your child’s transfer.

At Lucy Air Ambulance we work in partnership with the NHS and our preferred air charter partner Capital Air Ambulance to give you the very best care, support and reassurance you need to make this experience as smooth as possible.  We are dedicated to providing you with a specialist service, delivering the highest standards of care for you and your child.

Nicola Cleave
Our Head of Service, Nicola Cleave, will ensure you, as the parent, receives all the care and support you need whilst also being involved in the coordination and planning of the transfer for your child.  This includes advice with any practical help that you may need. 

Once we have received the referral from the Consultant or Registrar looking after your child Nicola will contact you to discuss any concerns or worries you may have.  Alternatively, you are welcome to email or call Nicola at any time.

Read our transfer stories here.

Below are some frequently asked questions that you may have regarding the transfer of your baby or child. 

What happens next?

The medical teams will ensure that your child is in the best condition before moving them to the specialist unit. Sometimes they may decide that your child is too sick to move and transfer may have to be deferred until their condition improves. The transport team will work closely with the medical teams at the referring unit and the receiving specialist unit and will liaise closely with yourself to make the best decision for the care of your child.

What happens if I have more than one baby or child needing to be transferred?

If you have more than one baby or child that needs transferring each may travel separately and the flights could take place on different days.

Who will accompany my child on the flight?

A Neonatal/Paediatric Transport Doctor and Specialist Transport Nurse will accompany your child at all times, both during the flight and in the road ambulance. The members of the team on the flight will be determined by the needs of your child.

Will my child be safe during the transfer?

The transfer team will work closely with the medical team at the referring unit to ensure that your baby/child is in the best condition possible before the flight and will keep in contact with you and inform you of what to expect.

The Flight Doctor will explain what is involved in the flight and any possible risks. Once you have received and understood all relevant information you will be asked to sign a Consent Form.

Your child will be assessed prior to the flight and continously monitored throughout the journey.

Is there someone I can keep in contact with during my child’s transfer?

Nicola or another member of the team will be available to support you both before and during your childs transfer. You can contact one of us at any time during your child’s transfer and we will be able to advise you on the condition of your child and will keep you updated about any changes to the estimated departure and arrival times.

Who are Capital Air Ambulance?

Lucy Air Ambulance work closely with Capital Air Ambulance. They are the largest aero-medical operators in the UK providing a safe, efficient and speedy way to transfer your child to a more appropriate specialist unit or bring them to a hospital closer to your home. Capital Air Ambulance use fixed wing aircraft giving more room to accommodate the highly trained medical team and any specialist medical equipment whilst still allowing easy access to the patient. Capital Air Ambulance adheres to the highest level of international standards and best practice of medical care.

Why do you use fixed-wing aircrafts (planes) and not helicopters?

There are lots of benefits to using fixed-wing aircrafts (planes):

-We can travel longer distances and cover the whole country
-It is a safer and more comfortable environment, especially for premature babies
-It is more reliable and more likely to happen irrespective of weather conditions

We are the only charity in the UK that transfers children using fixed-wing aircrafts (planes), rather than via helicopter.