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Update on development of the NHS Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) and Wales Air Ambulance Charity (21 September 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 Stakeholder,

Further to my update last month I wanted to update you about the second phase of the public engagement on the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) Service Review that will be taking place between 09 October and 05 November, 2023 for public feedback.

Phase 2 public engagement sessions will run from Thursday 12 October until Friday 20 October inclusive through a combination of informal drop-in sessions, in-person public meetings - in Welshpool, Newtown, Machynlleth, Bangor and Pwllheli - and virtual/on-line sessions using  Microsoft Teams.

As well as the engagement sessions timetable, the public will be able to provide their comments from 09 October until 05 November through a range of methods including post, phone, and online forms. Following the feedback we gathered through a range of methods during Phase 1, my  team has been working on developing options, and complementary data modelling has also been underway, that I now want to test with the public and stakeholders in Phase 2.

I am now encouraging the public and stakeholders to comment as part of Phase 2 where I will still be listening to public and stakeholder comments on the options developed before a decision is made later in the year.

We have had to focus the in-person engagement events on the areas where there has been the highest level of interest and attendance in Phase 1 which is why we are hosting in-person engagement sessions in Powys and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board areas, as well as offering online sessions for those who may prefer online or be unable to attend in-person sessions. 

There is also a telephone answer service and online feedback form to give people as much opportunity as possible to comment on what is being shared.

I stressed at the end of Phase 1 that no decision had previously been made on this issue and this second phase gives me an opportunity to share what has been heard in Phase 1 and demonstrate how this has been applied to the options developed.

have been grateful for the constructive dialogue that we had in Phase 1 and I’m hopeful that Phase 2 will be equally as helpful to me in arriving at a preferred option that I will then be able to recommend formally to the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee for their decision.

The passion for the air ambulance service is evident and it has been clear that there is a collective desire - between the public and stakeholders to work together with the Charity and EMRTS - to make this great partnership service even better for our communities in Wales.

As always, my sincere thanks for your continued interest on this matter.

Best regards,
Stephen Harrhy
Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner

Further information 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.