The Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS)

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) treats some of the UK's most seriously ill children - often in desperately urgent circumstances. As part of the Give to GOSH appeal, we are looking at what the Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS) does for patients at the hospital.

Emergency patient transport

The Children's Acute Transport Service (CATS) exists to get them there so they have the best chance of survival. Its staff are responsible for stabilising and moving young patients, often by air, to the hospital's intensive care unit.

CATS head of clinical service Daniel Lutman said: "We're looking really only to do this kind of thing if it's life or death. This is not the sort of thing if it's less than that. These are critically unwell children and we're hoping that by saving the time on the journey that we're going to make a difference."

Braving bad weather

Staff regularly practise landing at Regent's Park, a short ambulance ride from GOSH, to ensure they are prepared for the emergency transport of children to the hospital.

"This is the military landing site for London, but it's obviously also a park so there are difficulties there, especially in the middle of the night and in poor weather it can be very challenging," Mr Lutman added.

"You can talk through these things endlessly in an office environment and think you've got everything sorted but really it's only when you practice for real that you make sure the system works and is safe for the patient."

Give to GOSH today

This article was originally published on eveningstandard.co.uk on 27 November 2015