MOD contract proving a success

Wednesday, 19 September, 2012

In January 2012, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) and Air Medical Ltd (AirMed) for the provision of 24/7 clinical advice and aeromedical support for all of their neonatal, obstetric and paediatric cases around the globe.

Since this time AirMed, an air ambulance service based at Oxford airport, has carried out 7 air ambulance missions on behalf of the MOD under this contract. This included a baby with a heart murmur for cardiac assessment, a toddler for neurological assessment, a newly delivered mother and her baby with cleft lip and palate, an extremely premature baby for specialist care and a critically ill baby for step- up care.

A combined obstetric and neonatal transfer carried out by AirMed,
in conjunction with the OUH and on behalf of the MOD

The OUH has not only provided the initial clinical input on all of these cases, but has also been on call 24/7 for several other advisory discussions. A number of the cases have been brought to the OUH for their assessments and ongoing specialist care.

Mr Tony McDonald, General Manager of the Children's and Women's Division at OUH Trust says:
"We are pleased to be able to support our armed forces and their families from across the UK and abroad through our partnership with AirMed. As a centre of our expertise in intensive care for newborn babies we are able to provide speedy access to specialist treatment and care during and following life-saving transfers of sick babies and their mothers."

AirMed's Neonatal Medical director, Dr Charlotte Bennett, is a consultant neonatologist at the Trust's newborn intensive care unit. Dr Bennett works closely with a number of colleagues from the Trust who provide an on-call service for AirMed.

Dr Bennett explained: "The relationship we have with AirMed means we can provide a highly responsive service to 'time critical' emergencies. All the doctors and nurses involved are experts in neonatal care and have considerable experience in air ambulance flights. Together with AirMed and the MOD we are able to offer specialist care to military families whose babies become sick or deliver prematurely both here in the UK or while posted overseas."

AirMed and the OUH will continue to grow and cement their working relationship, not just through the MOD contract, but also in terms of delivering a consultant-led neonatal transfer service to hospital units from across the UK and around the world.

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