A Summer of Sims

Monday 10 October 2016

Video courtesy of Medics North Wales

Medics from the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) have spent the summer supporting critical care education by leading a series of simulations and training across Wales.

This multi-agency training included EMRTS Cymru medics, emergency department and anaesthesia doctors and nurses as well as paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service. It focused on the simulation of a patient transfer from one hospital to specialist care at another healthcare facility. The ‘patient’ in question had a life-threatening head injury and required life-saving resuscitation and time-critical transfer by EMRTS Cymru on the Wales Air Ambulance Charity helicopter.

With support from Medical Illustrator Steve Atherton, the training was recorded to allow medics to review real-time clinical handovers, resuscitation and retrieval processes using video playback.

So far the exercise has taken place at Nevill Hall Hospital (Abergavenny), Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Withybush Hospital (Haverfordwest).

Dr James Chinery, EMRTS Cymru medic, said: “The purpose of the exercise is to reinforce EMRTS Cymru’s aim of developing an innovative healthcare culture, leading to more efficient teamwork, and improved clinical care for the most critically ill and injured patients across Wales.”


Fellow EMRTS Cymru medic Dr Gareth Roberts said: “Working on a ‘live’ simulation with hospital and paramedic colleagues offers valuable realistic training and enhances the skills and knowledge of everyone who takes part. This will undoubtedly benefit the people of Wales and the quality of treatment that they receive.”


Dr Antony Mathew, an Emergency Department consultant at Withybush Hospital, said: “It’s really important for us to be able to take part in exercises like these which help to improve the way we work within various hospital teams, and with retrieval services like EMRTS. It also helps us to understand the capabilities of EMRTS as well.”


Dorian James, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Locality Manager for Pembrokeshire, said: “While the exercise might look and feel very dramatic, the reality is that our crews and fellow clinicians encounter scenarios like this every day, all over Wales.


“These exercises are designed to strengthen inter-agency working and enable colleagues to deliver the best possible care to those who are unfortunate enough to need it. It also gives each agency a snapshot of the capabilities of other organisations and, more importantly, gives us all the chance to work together in a real environment.” 

During the summer, EMRTS Cymru also continued their regular CPD training sessions with Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues across Wales.


Additional Information


1. EMRTS Cymru is a partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, NHS Wales and the Welsh Government. The consultants and critical care practitioners fly on board the Wales Air Ambulance Charity helicopters which are based in Dafen and Welshpool. It is the generosity of the Welsh public, through donations to the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, which keeps the helicopters flying.

When the helicopters are unable to fly due to poor weather conditions, the service has access to a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles.

To find out more about the Wales Air Ambulance Charity visit

2. For further details please contact Steven Stokes, EMRTS Cymru Communications Manager, on 07866 796985 or via