Happy Birthday EMRTS Cymru

27 April. The date in 1662 when the Netherlands and France signed a treaty of alliance and, in 2005, the world’s largest passenger plane (the Airbus A380) completed its maiden flight in France.

It is also the date, in 2015, that the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) started in Wales. Also known as the Welsh Flying Medics, the Service provides consultant-delivered innovative pre-hospital critical care across Wales, by air and by road. It is achieved via an important partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, a charitable trust which relies entirely on the generosity and support of the Welsh public to help keep the helicopters flying.

The Welsh Government-funded EMRTS Cymru medics are a part of NHS Wales. They are a highly trained team of consultants and critical care practitioners taking the A&E to the patient, wherever they are in Wales.

Since its introduction, the Service has:

  • shortened the time it takes for somebody who is critically ill to receive consultant-led treatment.

  • ensured that more people in Wales, in rural and urban areas, now have equal access to timely consultant-led treatment during an emergency incident, and can be immediately transported to specialist care at healthcare facilities across Wales and beyond.

  • relieved some pressure on frontline NHS emergency services. It has improved the time it takes for a patient to be taken for a CT scan. On average, EMRTS patients receive a head CT scan 10.5 hours sooner than normal. In addition, the Service has reduced timely and costly transfers between hospitals by taking patients directly to the appropriate specialist care.

  • supported the development of skills and knowledge in critical care for NHS Wales employees, both during emergency incidents and by organising regular training opportunities.

EMRTS Cymru is part of a chain of emergency care for patients in need. We thank our colleagues in the Welsh Ambulance Service and across Welsh and English Health Boards, as well as fellow emergency services, for their support. We also thank our partners the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, the Babcock pilots and the people of Wales. Without them, our service would not be possible.

Our Service has an exceptional team of medical and professional staff. It is their skill, hard work and dedication that has ensured EMRTS Cymru is delivering the highest standard of care.

You can find out more about the Service and what it has achieved during its first two years in operation via www.emrts.wales.nhs.uk.

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