The HSE National Ambulance Service has been tasked with establishing a National Aeromedical Co-ordination Centre (NACC) to co-ordinate all aero-medical requests from the various parts of the health sector, which may require air transport for their patients.
This service will be provided initially from the Regional Control Centre, based in Townsend St, Dublin and on completion of the new National Command and Control Centre in Tallaght, Co Dublin, will transfer to this location. The National Aeromedical Co-ordination Centre [NACC] will be staffed by appropriately trained Control Supervisors and will provide a 24 hour, 365 day service in relation to the management of Air Ambulance missions. Control Supervisors will have the appropriate skills to manage a variety of air ambulance missions and the logistics associated with each mission.
This service will provide both national and international mission capability.
At present Air Ambulance missions are co-ordinated from the various Regional Control Centres nationally. With the launch of the NACC, all air ambulance missions will be co-ordinated from a central point. This will provide both service requestors i.e. the hospitals requiring movement of patients. and the service providers of air transport, i.e. the Irish Air Corps and the Irish Coast Guard, with a single point of contact in relation to all details of an air ambulance situation.
The HSE National Ambulance Service has a long tradition of dealing with both the Irish Air Corps and Irish Coast Guard in respect of air ambulance missions. Over the past number of years both services have provided inter-hospital transfers, international air ambulance missions, Search and Rescue, and assistance to the NAS in life or death missions.
The current list of Air Ambulance missions provided, to the HSE are listed below:
- Inter-Hospital Transfers
- International Air Ambulance Missions
- Neo-Natal Transportation
- Transportation of Spinal Injury patients
- Off-Shore Island medevacs
- Search and Rescue
- Paediatric Emergency Transfers
- Transport of Organ Retrieval Teams
Over the past 10 months, the Irish Air Corps has flown approximately 54 Air Ambulance missions, with the Irish Coast Guard flying approximately 25 missions, in support of the Health Service Executive and the National Ambulance Service.
The advent of the new NACC will further enhance the co-ordination of all Air Ambulance missions, flown in support of the HSE on a national basis, providing a seamless operation from initial request to the delivery of the patient at the required destination.