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Update on development of the NHS Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru) and Wales Air Ambulance Charity (8 August 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 last communication in June at the end of Phase 1 of the public engagement on the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) Service Review, I wanted to update you on the progress my team and I are making.

In summary for Phase 1, there were 33 public engagement sessions, comprising, 8 in-person drop-ins, 11 virtual/online public meetings, and 14 in-person public meetings.

Once again, my thanks for all your time, contributions, and support in respect of these.

In addition to the engagement timetable of public sessions, I continued to meet with various stakeholders including elected representatives at national, regional, and local levels, as well as community group leaders including Stakeholder Reference Groups (SRG), staff groups within EMRTS and the Wales Air Ambulance Charity (WAAC), and other representative bodies.

As previously explained, following Phase 1, the work to develop a range of options is the focus for my team and me during the next few months, all informed by the feedback to date as well as complementary data modelling that is also underway.

A summary of emerging themes from Phase 1 of the ‘listening’ stage was presented to the Emergency Ambulances Services Committee (EASC) in July, which highlighted what was heard in the public engagement sessions.

These emerging themes did not include the online and hard copy questionnaires responses that were still being analysed, however it allowed us to share with all Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Service CEOs the main points, concerns, queries and suggestions that came through during Phase 1.

These themes were not limited to just the EMRTS Service Review but also referenced the broader health and care system feedback that surfaced throughout the 14 weeks. Committee meeting details and papers are on the EASC website,
meetings-and-papers/ that goes into more detail about the feedback.

As I have previously explained, once the options are developed, I will be coming back out to the public as Phase 2 for your comment on these that will help me arrive at a recommended and preferred option. I will then take this recommended option to be considered by the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee for decision.

Phase 2 of the public engagement will start in the autumn and as soon as confirmed dates and location details are in place for this phase, we will send out updates to you, our stakeholders, as well as publish all updates on the EASC website as we have done throughout the engagement.

I provided an interview with BBC Radio Wales Country Focus last week which you may want to listen to which also outlines where we are and provides an update: 

I will be in touch again with further updates but in the meantime, my best wishes for a good summer and my sincere thanks once again 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.