New national retrieval service for Scotland

A new national specialist transport and retrieval service for critically ill patients has been launched in Scotland this month.

The project, named ScotSTAR, brings together the existing three transport and retrieval services: the Scottish Neonatal Service, the Transport of Critically Ill and Injured Children Service and the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service, with the Scottish Ambulance Service, which co-ordinates the teams and road and air ambulances.
The single integrated national service, which represents an investment of £9.5 million a year, aims to provide: ‘a sustainable multidisciplinary medical and clinical team, making best use of the range of road and air transport services.’

It is hoped that a centralised and co-ordinated approach will create opportunities for greater shared working, training and education of staff and bring efficiencies and consistency to the way in which some of the most critically ill patients are transported.

Dr Andrew McIntyre, Associate Medical Director, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

‘ScotSTAR will bring together the existing expert transport teams for critically ill babies, children and adults. By combining this expertise, and co-locating key resources, ScotSTAR will provide a service that is exceptional by international standards and unique in the UK. It’s an exciting project and I am very much looking forward to being part of it.’

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being, said:

‘This world-class dedicated approach will benefit critically ill patients, by providing a single specialist integrated service across Scotland.

‘This new co-ordinated approach will bring greater efficiencies and ensure there is consistency to the way in which some of the most critically ill patients are transported.’

The teams, which are based in the West will move into a purpose built facility at Glasgow airport next year, where the new air ambulance base is situated.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 28 April 2014.

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