Acute Transport Group

PCCS Acute Transport Group (ATG) is a subgroup of the Paediatric Critical Care Society and any work undertaken by this group is on behalf of PCCS.


Michael Griksaitis (email)


  • To provide a consultative forum that can effectively provide advice on current and future direction for the Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Services.
  • To provide advice and support on the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of the ATG activities to the Paediatric Critical Care Society.
  • To provide a forum to consider issues arising from the ATG that may be relevant to group members and their parent organisations/region.
  • To maximise opportunities for partnerships, networking and information sharing in relation to PIC transport.
  • To facilitate the standardisation of an education and training programme for PIC transport.
  • To establish a national governance arrangement for all transport services to report in to in order to minimise risk and to inform best practice.


Minutes of ATG meetings and other relevant documents are available by clicking on the links below.
National Flights Activity Data Report 2019
PICS ATG PCC Transport Passport version 2 final 2018
Paediatric Intensive Care Society ATG ToR 2017
PICS Air Standards June 2016
Transport on ECMO Standards 2015
England & Wales Flights Activity Data Report 2016
PICS ATG Aeromedical Tasking Criteria

ATG Meeting Minutes
PCCS-ATG Minutes Sept 2020
PICS ATG Minutes March 2018
PICS ATG Minutes October 2017
Minutes PICS ATG 5th July 2017
PICS ATG Minutes 3rd March 2017
PICS ATG Minutes 3rd October 2016
PICS ATG Minutes 23rd June 2016
PICS ATG minutes February 2016
PICS ATG minutes Sept 2015 PICS ATG minutes June 2015
PICS ATG minutes October 2014
PICS ATG minutes July 2014
PICS ATG minutes March 2014

Overview of PIC transport services

Over the last fifteen years, there has been a move away from PICUs operating their own retrieval services to the development of regional transport services for critically ill children. This Google Maps link illustrates the current service provision across the UK. The UK is divided into commissioning regions with each region covered by a PIC Transport Service.

Children’s Acute Transport Service

The Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS) main remit is to provide intensive care transport for the North Thames, Essex, Herts, Beds, and East Anglia regions in England. It is a collaborative service with Great Ormond Street Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, Royal Brompton Hospital London and Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge. The service also provides national cover for ECMO, Vein of Galen and Liver into Great Ormond Street & King’s College Hospital London.

Embrace (The Yorkshire and Humber Infant and Children’s Transport Service)

Embrace is hosted by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and is based in Barnsley. Embrace provides a ground, rotary wing and fixed wing critical care transport service for neonatal and paediatric patients in the Yorkshire and Humber region and beyond.

Kids Intensive Care and Decision Support

KIDS is a collaborative Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Service for the West Midlands.


  • Referral Hotline: 0191 2826699
  • Enquiries: 0191 2825777

  • Website:
  • Email:

NECTAR is the regional Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Service for the North East of England. The purpose designed NECTAR HQ is located at the Campus of Ageing and Vitality site of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals. The service is largely Consultant led and transfers critically ill children to one of the PICUs in the North East: the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle or the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.


  • Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Line (24 Hours a day): 02890 632449
  • Neonatal Transport coordinator (0900-2100): 07825 147266

NISTAR is the combined Paediatric and Neonatal Transport Service for Northern Ireland.

Nottingham Children’s Hospital

  • Referral hotline: 0115 875 4694

Nottingham has retrieval team available 24 hours a day to help stabilise and retrieve children throughout Nottingham the northern east midlands. This is staffed by experienced nurses and doctors. Around half of our retrievals are consultant delivered.

North West and North Wales Paediatric Transport Service

The North West and North Wales Paediatric Transport Service is based in Warrington, Cheshire, and is a collaborative venture between Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.


  • Referral Hotline: 0300 300 0023
  • Enquiries: +44 116 258 6302
  • Website:

PICCTS is a Specialised Paediatric Transport Service for south east midlands/Leicester made up of 3 specialised unit based teams providing PICU Transport for cardiac and general PICU transport. The National ECMO Service based at Glenfield also provides specialist transport for children needing ECMO.


ScotSTAR delivers a centrally co-ordinated specialist transport service from a dedicated transport base at Glasgow Airport for any age of patient using dedicated transport practitioners on Scottish Ambulance Service vehicles and aircraft from any referring unit across the Scottish mainland and islands to the optimal triage destination.


SORT is a collaborative service between the two paediatric intensive care units in the South Central region. It delivers expert paediatric critical care to District General Hospitals throughout the south of England.

South Thames Retrieval Service

South Thames Retrieval Service for Children is the regional transfer service for South Thames and the South-South East quadrant of England from Margate in the East to Worthing in the South. STRS is based in the lead centre PICU in South London, the Evelina Children’s Hospital (ECH) at St Thomas Hospital.


Wales and West Acute Transport for Children (WATCh)

Western Acute Transport for Children (WATCh) is the regional transfer service for South West England, covering South Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, as well as Swindon in Wiltshire. In addition, WATCh provides transport services for critically-ill children with congenital heart disease and burns within South Wales. WATCh is based in the lead centre PICU in Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.