New NETS Non-Emergency Transport Service launched

On Tuesday 6 October, a new service began at NETS (Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service) to transport babies safely to a hospital closer to home when they no longer require intensive care.

The Non-Emergency Newborn Transport Service has been established at NETS to transfer inpatients from tertiary neonatal intensive care units (NICU) or Level 4 special care units in the greater Sydney metropolitan area, to a hospital closer to the family’s home for continuing care. In addition, the service will transport an inpatient for a specialist appointment at a tertiary neonatal hospital and then return the patient back to the local hospital.

NETS was commissioned by the Ministry of Health to establish the return transport service. Patients will be moved within Sydney and to hospitals as far as approximately three hours road driving time from Sydney. They are transported by an experienced nurse and Emergency Vehicle Operator (EVO) employed by NETS.

NETS Nurse Manager Paul Gallagher OAM said one of the benefits of the service was that infants would be transferred with dedicated and fully trained staff including a nurse and EVO who are familiar with the transport environment. The patient is transported using specialised vehicles and equipment suitable to their size, weight and condition.

It will improve the experience and outcome for patients and families by allowing them to be closer to home and their support networks and to become connected with vital local resources,” Mr Gallagher said.

Other advantages of the Non-Emergency Transport Service include assisting early discharge from the NICU and providing a safe and effective method of transport with clinical support from the NETS consultant if and when required. In the past, a critical care nurse from the referring hospital had to travel with the patient, the new service means that will no longer be necessary, reducing delays and cost to the referring hospital.