Patients aeromedically evacuated from their theatre of operation and also from expeditionary operations and exercises around the world are transported by the RAF Aeromed team operating from Brize Norton.
Only about 20% of Aeromed patient actually come to Birmingham. Others will progress from the UK arrival airport in the Primary Health Care pathway which best suits their clinical and geographical needs.
The Aeromed Cell based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) provides the expertise and coordination of the arrival of military patients who need to be admitted to hospital.
Generally we get 24-48 hours’ notice of incoming patients and the Aeromed Cell liaise direct with the NHS Trust to determine the best clinical pathway for each patient within Birmingham.
Those that arrive at Birmingham tend to be those with multiple trauma and ‘Listed’ patients (listed means a patient is categorised as Very Seriously Injured (VSI0, Seriously Injured (SI) or Incapacitating Illness or Injury (III).
Listed patients are entitled to DILFOR (Dangerously Ill forwarding of Relatives), which means accommodation, travel and subsistence are provided at public expense for the immediate family.
Patient Coordination Cell (PCC) provide a number of roles which include, daily visits to the patients, practical support, signposting of non-clinical matters and provision of accommodation and transport.
There is always a PCC and Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) worker on call 24 hours a day. PCC and DMWS are pivotal in the arrival of the Patient Group to QEHB.
Once we know a casualty is inbound, contact is made with the Visiting Officer (VO), Unit Escorting Officer (UEO) or Unit. This is to assist in the coordination of arrival, accommodation, briefing and then escorting the Patient Group to the bedside at the appropriate time.
One essential element of the ‘military bubble’ is a daily meeting of all agencies and departments who have a responsibility for the patient and patient group. They meet to ensure all needs, concerns and issues are known by the relevant experts and the appropriate action is taken during the patient’s time a Birmingham. Furthermore, where a long term welfare requirement is identified, referral is made to the appropriate single Service Welfare Agency.
Our mission is simple: