For Health Professionals

Our service

Lucy Air Ambulance for Children is a national charity that flies children up to the age of 16 years between hospitals.

We transfer children for a variety of reasons including: to receive specialist care, to be taken closer to home, including for end of life care, for diagnostic tests or for specialist surgery, including organ transplants.

The referral process

If you would like us to transfer a child between hospitals please be aware that our service is restricted to children up to the age of 16 within the UK. 

Please click on the link below and complete the referral form. Once submitted, we will contact you within 24 hours to confirm whether or not we can fund a flight at this time.

If you are unsure whether our service is right for the child’s situation, please fill in our enquiry form and we will be able to help you. For urgent advice or queries regarding our service please call 020 3859 9128 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)

If your call is out of normal working hours and is not urgent please leave a message and we will respond to your enquiry the next working day.

Referral FAQs

Who will authorise funding for the transfer?

The authorisation of funding is delegated by the Trustees to the Chief Executive, who in most circumstances will be able to make a decision almost immediately.

Who will manage the transfer?

Our Chief Executive Steve willl contact our service provider and liaise between the referring and referral hospital/unit to ensure all necessary links are put into place to initiate the planning process.

This process normally takes a minimum of two days to complete.  The length of time will be determined by factors such as, bed availability, staff availability with our service provider and possible adverse weather conditions.

We ask that you please keep us fully updated, by telephone or email, with the clinical condition of the child or any other changes that may subsequently have an impact on the planning of the transfer.

Our Engagement Manager Rebecca will contact the parents/carer at an appropriate time to introduce herself and the Charity and most importantly, offer support and any practical help that may be required.

This communication will continue until the child has been transferred and as long as the family feels this relationship is supportive and beneficial.

Will I be regularly updated during the planning process?

Everybody involved, the referring hospital, the referral hospital, lead clinicians and parents will be regularly updated during the planning process to ensure they are aware of any changes that occur.

Who will be responsible for patient care?

Responsibility for patient care is paramount throughout this whole process which every health professional is accountable for.

Initially it is held with the referring team, subsequently the aero medical team and the receiving units, all working in partnership to deliver the highest standard of care at all times.

The responsibility for the care of the patient is a continuum of responsibility over the whole transport event…it must be timely, safe and efficient, requiring a high degree of coordination between all service providers’

Paediatric Intensive Care Retrieval – NHS England

How do I prepare for the transfer?

We will liaise with the transport team and confirm any requests from the flight team that need to be carried out prior to the child being collected, such as nil by mouth times, line access and breathing support.

The possibility of a parent accompanying the child would have previously been discussed and arranged if they wished to do so. If the parent has subsequently changed their minds and no longer wish to accompany their child please just let us know.

If the parents need any practical advice with travel arrangements please ask them to contact us.

What do I need to do on the day of the transfer?

Please make sure the parents have been given all the information they need and check they have our contact number.

We will liaise with the transport teams and referral hospital to make sure you are kept updated and aware of any potential delays.

When the team arrives, the Flight Doctor will assess the child prior to leaving the Unit and take handover.

Please ensure you have all the copies of the relevant patient notes and hard copies of any scans (if applicable), ready for when the transport team arrives.

We will follow up with a courtesy phone call once the child has reached their destination and let you know how they have settled in.