Development of a nurse-led transport service for non-critical neonates and children in Northern Ireland
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Development of a nurse-led transport service for non-critical neonates and children in Northern Ireland

Victoria Harte Transport nurse, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland Specialist Transport and Retrieval, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the challenges involved in transporting children and neonates across large geographical distances

  • To learn about the development of a nurse-led transport team and non-critical children’s transport nurse role

  • To understand the potential advantages of the transport nurse role and similar nurse-led services

While the transport and retrieval of critically ill children has been extensively researched and audited, nurse-led repatriation and retrieval of non-critical children and neonates has only recently become a full-time nursing position in Northern Ireland. In January 2020, the Northern Ireland Specialist Transport and Retrieval (NISTAR) service developed a nurse-led transport team for this patient population and created a new role – the non-critical paediatric transport nurse – which incorporates the skills of a children’s nurse.

The aim of the service is to transport children and neonates safely between the regional paediatric unit and local district general hospital paediatric wards in Northern Ireland. The nurse-led service also transfers children with non-critical complex cardiac conditions between paediatric wards in Northern Ireland and the national centre for paediatric cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery in Dublin, Ireland. This article describes the role of the nurse-led transport team and discusses clinical governance, training requirements and the safe transfer of children with complex cardiac conditions. The NISTAR team won the child health category at the 2021 RCN Nursing Awards.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2022.e1426

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@NISTAR_HSC

Correspondence

victoria.harte@belfasttrust.hscni.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Harte V (2022) Development of a nurse-led transport service for non-critical neonates and children in Northern Ireland. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2022.e1426

Published online: 20 June 2022

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