Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

As 2023 draws to a close, CareFlight is proud to celebrate five years providing the Patient Transport Service with NSW Health, helping deliver vital patient care for regional and rural communities.

Since 2018, CareFlight has helped more than 6,000 patients from regional and rural communities in Northern NSW, as well as other locations around the state and interstate when called upon.

The service transports patients needing specialist treatment and procedures that are not available locally. Once they have had the treatment or procedure, they are then flown back to their local hospital to recover.

Patients are flown from airports around regional and rural NSW to Sydney and Newcastle, where awaiting CareFlight road crews then take them to specialist hospital facilities.

Staffed by specially trained flight nurses, CareFlight King Air B200 twin engine turbo-prop aeroplanes are fitted with a combination of stretchers and patient seating. The pressurised cabin provides a high level of patient comfort and safety.

CareFlight road vehicles are staffed by a driver and a specially trained nurse, providing patient transport to and from the aircraft. Additional vehicles and locally based crews are also strategically located other major regional centres in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Moree and Armidale to support those major centres and surrounding communities.

HealthShare NSW co-ordinates all patient movements with CareFlight’s HelpPoint, a specialist team equipped to provide logistics support and coordination throughout the patient’s journey.

Arthur Anderson doesn’t remember much about his journey from Glen Innes to St. George Hospital Sydney – he had fallen into a critical coma and needed emergency care fast. The CareFlight crew arrived and flew Arthur down the coast, circumventing a potentially life-threatening 7-hour drive.

CareFlight saved my life. If they hadn’t got me to the St George Hospital in Sydney when they did, I would have died,” Arthur said.

CareFlight CEO Mick Frewen said the five year milestone for the fixed wing service was yet another notable event in CareFlight’s more than 37 year history.

“We firmly believe in giving patients from regional areas greater access to the very best level of healthcare to meet their needs. We’re very proud our crews have been able to work with our partners in the healthcare system to help so many patients in the last five years, while ensuring they are transported with the highest standards of patient care and safety.”

Mr Frewen noted that CareFlight crew members will often relate that nothing lifts the spirits quite like the kind words and appreciation of patients and their loved ones.

“As we mark five years of delivering this service, we’d like to extend our gratitude to all those individuals who have supported our air and road crews to carry out their role in their local communities, and we would also like to thank HealthShare NSW for their trust in CareFlight to deliver this service over the period and into the future,” he said.

“We’d also like to take the opportunity to thank our dedicated staff and our many partners right around the state whose tireless efforts have proven a lifeline for so many patients and their loved ones over these past years.”

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