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Flying medics to provide quicker access to life saving care across north Wales

The service is being launched today at Caernarfon Airport Credit: PA

Patients in rural areas will have access to quicker life saving care as a 'flying medics' service is rolled out across north Wales.

Before the 'Welsh Flying Medics' service was introduced, all WAA helicopters were staffed by paramedics. But now consultants and critical care practitioners will now also be on board on Wales' flying medics service who work in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance.

This means more advanced medical procedures can be carried out at the scene of an accident, such as being able to blood transfusions, administer anaesthetics, offer strong painkillers, and conduct a range of medical procedures.

Over the past two years, the 'Flying Medics' have become operational on the WAA helicopters based in Dafen and in Welshpool, but now will be available in Caernarfon.

The service is being launched today at Caernarfon Airport by the Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething AM.

"I welcome this initiative that will enhance the existing service from Caernarfon and bring it in line with the rest of the EMRTS cover enjoyed elsewhere.

It will bring access to critical care and emergency medicine much closer for people living in North Wales and ensure that they can get the best care more quickly. It will play a vital role in the provision of high quality unscheduled care across North Wales."

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary

An independent evaluation by the Farr Institute at Swansea University has already started to reveal how the 'Welsh Flying Medics' service is having a positive impact on critical care in Wales.

It says more people in rural areas have equal access to consultant led treatment, and the service has relieved some pressure on frontline NHS emergency services.

"The Service is already supporting the work of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board but this next stage in our development can only enhance the benefits that we bring, not just in North Wales, but in Powys and parts of Ceredigion."

– Dr Ami Jones, EMRTS Cymru