Skip to main content

Update on development of the NHS Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) and Wales Air Ambulance Charity (24 March 2023)

Image of Welsh air ambulance car and helicopter 

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

I am pleased to confirm the first dates for the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Services (EMRTS Cymru) public engagement sessions which can now be viewed on the EASC website: EASC website

The timetable shows how we are offering mix of public engagement sessions to include in-person public meetings, walk-in sessions, and virtual sessions online giving people a range of options to provide feedback during a six-week period.

As well as the public sessions on the timetable, we will also be using the established engagement structures of Health Boards’ Stakeholder Reference Groups (SRGs) and Community Health Councils (CHCs - soon to be Llais with effect from April 01, 2023) and co-ordinating representative sample focus groups.

We’ve had strong interest from stakeholders in the EMRTS Service Review and I am grateful for the contributions made to date towards shaping the engagement process that demonstrates how we have listened to stakeholders and taken these suggestions on board.  I would like to thank those who have supported us in making these arrangements in localities.

There are still some venue confirmations we are expecting and will therefore update the timetable on the website as soon as we receive this and share this with you.  We would also be grateful of any support in cascading the information to ensure this is widely communicated.

As well as the core public engagement timetable I am keen to take up offers of any additional locations from stakeholders who feel would be beneficial to consider as I want as many people to have their say as possible.  Anyone who has an interest in hosting us can email: to make arrangements with my team.

The EMRTS Service Review will focus on making sure that the patients who need this important critical care service can have access to it no matter where they live in Wales or when they need it.  We know that EMRTS saves lives and that patients who are treated by EMRTS recover better and quicker, so this impartial Review will consider how as many people as possible in Wales could benefit from this service, as well as considering the most effective use of clinical skills, and other resources.

Since I was appointed by the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee to undertake the EMRTS Service Review, my team has been putting the foundations in place for the all Wales engagement that will explore how additional activity that could be achieved from existing bases could be maximised and to explore options to further improve the service.

In readiness for this engagement, there has been a substantial amount of information on our EASC website which includes a video ‘explainer’ and detailed Frequently Asked Questions section about the Service as we recognise that there is much complex information to convey about the clinical and operational aspects of how the Service works now that will need to be understood in order to provide feedback.  I very much encourage everyone to use this information before attending any of the engagement sessions as it should help clarify any queries.

There is also a guide on how to attend the virtual public meetings, online using Microsoft Teams for those who are unfamiliar with the platform.

All previously issued briefing updates are published in English and Welsh on the EASC website, but anyone who would like to receive a copy e-mailed directly, can send an e-mail to: requesting to be added to our distribution list.

Thank you for your continued interest in the EMRTS Service Review.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

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.


Published 24/03/23