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UK: coastguard-public health agreement

Arranged to "save more lives" by transporting patients between British hospitals

The UK Coastguard has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Health Service (NHS) to use helicopters to transport patients between hospitals in the west and south-west of England. The objective of the agreement is to speed up the transfer times of patients in critical conditions, allowing immediate access to treatment in the event of an emergency.

"This agreement establishes a strong governance platform on which services can work together and share knowledge to best meet the needs of our patients when, literally, every minute counts", said Alison Lowndes, director of the division of surgery at the hospital University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (Uhbw).

The collaboration was signed through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the hospital Retrieve Adult Critical Care Transfer Service; it is the first initiative of its kind in England. Helicopter operations will cover the Bristol area and all hospitals from Gloucestershire to Cornwall.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency