The first dedicated air ambulance service for children in England and Wales has been launched. The charity - The Children's Air Ambulance (TCAA) - will use an AgustaWestland AW169 twin-engined helicopter to transfer critically ill patients from hospitals to paediatric intensive care units across the two countries, "or help move specialist paediatric teams to enable children to receive the lifesaving, specialist treatment and care that they need as soon as possible, cutting transfer times", says the TCAA.

Alex Toft, director of operations and clinical services of umbrella company the Air Ambulance Service, says the TCAA will undergo a two-month phase of training and fundraising purposes before the first missions are flown next early next year. "We have the helicopter, the pilots and the team and we're ready to go - our focus now is to secure the funds [public donations] we need to get off the ground," Toft adds.

Source: Flight International