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Update on development of the NHS Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) and Wales Air Ambulance Charity (6 January 2023)

The NHS Wales Emergency Ambulance Services Committee has published the following update on the development of the NHS Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) and Wales Air Ambulance Charity:

Dear key stakeholder

Please find attached Briefing Note 4 which is an update on the position related to the work on the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

The initial proposal was considered by the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee (EASC) on 8 November and Members asked for more scrutiny before further steps could be taken. An update report was provided to EASC on 6 December 2022. Four areas for scrutiny were agreed:
1.    Providing EMRTS to the population of Wales (population coverage)
2.    Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV) (How these vehicles should best be used)
3.    Utilisation (using what we have in an effective way) 
4.    Unmet need (more patients to receive the critical care service).

Formal public engagement will confirm how the EMRTS works now, will inform the development of boundaries or limits to be used and options that will then be modelled. This will ensure that the benefits or otherwise of each option are clearly set out and weighed up as part of an open, transparent and robust process.

The last update explained that the EASC Team are working with experts in Health Boards and with Community Health Councils to develop engagement materials and when agreed the formal process of engagement will start. Work is continuing on the engagement materials (which will include timelines) but understandably our team has also been very busy supporting the NHS response to the current pressures facing the emergency care system and our patients. With apologies this does mean that the materials are not yet ready and therefore we will not be starting the formal process on 9 January 2023 (next week). We are hoping to share information as soon as possible, and now expect these to be available by early February and we appreciate your understanding during this period.

I will provide further updates in due course

Thank you very much for the important comments and queries that we have received on our website. If you have further queries or suggestions please use the following link:

Thank you

Yours sincerely 
Stephen Harrhy, Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner


Further information including the Briefing Note 4 for stakeholders is available from the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee website.

Check our Air Ambulance Review page for all news articles and updates about the review of air ambulance services in Wales.

Published 06/01/23