To support the safe transfer of infants and children requiring intensive care, we have a dedicated retrieval and transport service called the Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS). CATS was established in 2000 and is now the largest dedicated children’s intensive care transport team in Europe.
The CATS team specialises in providing ICU care during transport, including invasive and non-invasive ventilation, inotropic support and inhaled nitric oxide. The service is fully equipped with state-of-the-art Hamilton ventilators, Philips patient monitors and Braun infusion pumps, and has dedicated personnel and ambulances to ensure safe, timely transfer.
In 2017/18, CATS handled 2387 calls to its dedicated hotline and stabilised and safely transferred more than 1222 critically ill neonates, infants and children to the GOSH ICU. The team has considerable experience performing air transfers, using both commercial aircraft and air ambulances, and have undertaken international transfers from Australia, USA and Canada, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE.
The CATS service is a consultant-led service. A team of consultants is responsible for service delivery, supervision of junior medical staff, provision of outreach education and service development. All CATS consultants are trained in paediatric intensive care (PICU), and come from paediatric as well as anaesthetic backgrounds. All CATS consultants also work in various PICUs in London or in paediatric anaesthesia to maintain competencies in their base speciality.
A team of full-time CATS nurses are responsible for service delivery, co-ordination of the outreach education program and in-house training. The most senior clinical nursing staff are Advanced Nurse Practitioners who all have an MSc in Paediatric Critical Care/Advanced Nursing Practice. They function at a level similar to the clinical fellows and are able to lead the retrieval team.
Education and training
Our mission is to empower all healthcare professionals involved in the care of critically ill children. In 2018, our team delivered outreach training to over 1200 healthcare professionals around the world, helping them to recognise critical illness earlier on, start timely patient stabilisation and improve patient outcomes.
We also offer bespoke training programmes in the recognition and stabilisation of critical illness in children, delivered at our base in London or at international centres overseas. There is also a comprehensive international fellowship programme for ICU professionals who wish to enhance their paediatric transport skills.