Some of the most seriously ill babies and children are to benefit from a new ambulance service.
Described as 'an intensive care unit on wheels' will help transport the most critically ill youngsters from hospital to the nearest specialist care centre.
The specialist vehicle will be based at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but will work across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire
The Paediatric and Neonatal Decision and Support Retrieval service (PaNDR) will transport seriously ill children right up to 16 years across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
The aim is to ease pressure between 11.30am and 9.30pm seven days a week on the current paediatric transport provider, London’s Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS), which will continue to assist outside those hours and full-time in the rest of the region.
To make the changes possible PaNDR has invested in a new ambulance and driver. Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) raised £216,000 to fund the service. The existing three neonatal ambulances, all of which have been funded with donations to ACT, operate right across the East of England, are equipped with similar life-saving equipment which is mounted under an incubator on wheels.
From today the new ambulance will feature the PaNDR name and panda logo andstaff will be dressed in dark blue uniforms with gold trim.
Dr Broster added: “This is an excellent example of three ambulance services – PaNDR, St John and CATS – working together to give patients in this region the very best service possible."