Specialist ambulance service for babies and children goes 24/7

The PaNDR service was launched today by Addenbrooke's
The service started earlier this year and is expected to be extended to the whole of the eastern region in 2022 Credit: ITV Anglia

An ambulance service specifically designed for babies and children is to operate around the clock in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service, or PaNDR, has teams of critical care doctors and nurses on standby to transfer seriously unwell children into intensive care units across the east of England, and home again.

It is operated by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke's and the Rosie hospitals. Since the service began in April, it has been running between 8am and 6pm across the region.

The team's lead and CUH Deputy Medical Director, Sue Broster, said going 24 hours a day was part of the vision for children's services in the region.

It was all about being able to get high quality care in the right place, at the right time and as close to home as possible, she said.

The vision for children's health also included the new Cambridge Children's Hospital, which will be the first hospital in the world to combine mental and physical health, providing care for the whole child and their family.

The service will operate around the clock in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire from today and it's expected it will be extended to 24 hours a day for the whole of the east of England from April 2022.

The two new ambulances and specialist equipment was purchased earlier this year, with help from Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, which raised £216,000 for the service.