Why have dedicated transfer services?
Adult Critical Care Transfer Service's (ACCTS) are NHS England funded to provide equitable transfer services for all adult patients within the Critical Care System. By providing dedicated transfer services we aim to ease the burden on 999 ambulance resources, allow Critical Care staff and equipment to remain within the Units, and improve patient safety.
The interim Thames Valley & Wessex Adult Critical Care Transfer (ACCT) Service, known as RESCUE, went live in December 2020. While NHS England and partner agencies work to secure a substantive ACCT service we are delighted to confirm we have been extended until 31st March 2024.
In addition to the excellent service we provide within the TV&W Network we have also been asked by NHS England to coordinate ACCT transfers across Sussex until 31st March 2023.
Operated by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and working in close partnership with the Thames Valley & Wessex, and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Adult Critical Care Networks, we are able to provide dedicated, fully equipped vehicles and trained staff seven days a week between 1030 & 2300.
The interim service is commissioned to provide NON-TIME CRITICAL (within 4 hours) transfer services for Level 2 & 3 adult patients into, between, and out of Critical Care Units.
We are working closely with NHS England to meet the national ACCTS specification and therefore encourage clinicians requesting TIME CRITICAL transfers to or from Critical Care to consider our service by calling 0300 303 4147 between 1030 - 2300 seven days a week as we may be in a position to respond with an appropriate resource within an acceptable time frame.
Transfer requests should ideally be made via our referapatient online form or by calling 0300 303 4147 between 1030 - 2300 seven days a week. Please note that the team will take you through the referapatient form if you chose to call.
Once you have made a referral the team on duty will make contact, they will require details of the patients condition in order to risk assess and accept any booking and provide an ETA.
We have fully equipped, dedicated, blue light ambulances with a trained crew. In addition to the usual equipment you can expect to find on a front line ambulance, each RESCUE vehicle is equipped with the following specialist equipment:
- Stryker patient stretcher (318kg max capacity) – combined with Paraid adaption to create transfer trolley
- Paraid equipment bridge, equipment rails, poles, I.V stands, power distribution bar and onboard oxygen storage (2x BOC CD cylinders)
- Hamilton T1 transfer ventilator
- Hamilton H900 Circuit Humidifier
- Zoll X series patient monitor (includes invasive BP/ICP module)
- BBraun Infusomat Space volumetric infusion pumps
- BBraun Perfusor Space syringe drivers
- Abbott i-STAT Point of Care blood testing
- GE VScan Portable Ultrasound
- Fluid/blood warming
- Lucas 3 chest compression device
- Video laryngoscope
- National Standard CCU Transfer Bag
- Vacuum transport mattress
With the support of Health Education England and Adult Critical Care Units within the Thames Valley and Wessex Network our dedicated team of Paramedics, Nurses and Emergency Care Assistants have had the opportunity to gain additional skills and knowledge needed to safely support and facilitate transfers of Critical Care patients.
The core team consist of Trust employed, experienced Paramedics, Nurses and Emergency Care Assistants who are on hand to conduct transfers across the Network footprint.
Our Lead Consultant, experienced in anaesthetic and intensive care medicine, provides oversight and guidance to the team, and supports the development of a bank of Consultant and Registrar level medical staff working alongside us. When our Medical Team are on duty we are able to offer a full transfer team enabling hospital staff to remain on site.
The RESCUE team are led and supported by a dedicated Paramedic Team Leader, Lead Practitioner and Operations Manager with the full clinical governance expected of an NHS ambulance service.
If you are interested in joining our team as a Transfer Doctor please see the links on the home page that will take you to the current round of recruitment via NHS Jobs.
Referrals we accept
The interim Adult Critical Care Transfer Service is commissioned to transfer NON-TIME CRITICAL (within 4 hours) level 2 & 3 Adult Critical Care patients.
We are working closely with NHS England to meet the national standard for ACCT services and while strictly not in scope, we may be able to respond to TIME CRITICAL / TIME SENSITIVE transfers within and acceptable timeframe. Please contact the team on 0300 303 4147 between 10:30 - 23:00 seven days a week if you wish to discuss our availability.
While our priority is transferring patients within the Critical Care system, we are also able to consider referrals where a patient requires an escalation of care or enhanced transfer service.
Transfers into specialist centres that often involve lengthy travel times or from a surgical environment will also benefit from the specialist equipment and dedicated transfer team.
Please refer to our documents section where you can download our poster, risk assessment tool and service algorithm with further details on what referrals we are able to consider, if in doubt give us a call.