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Introduction

Why do we move critically ill or injured patients from one hospital to another?

It is vital that critically ill or injured patients are treated rapidly in an acute hospital in order to stabilise them or limit their injuries. However, there are several instances when such management may be followed by further (secondary) transfer to another acute hospital:

  • Clinical transfer– when the facilities needed for definitive treatment are not available at the initial hospital.
  • Capacity transfer– when the initial hospital has inadequate equipment, bed capacity, staffing or monitoring to provide the necessary care.
  • Repatriation–highly specialised hospitals may need to transfer patients to ensure they can treat the next patient who needs their specialist facilities. Patients may also be moved back to hospitals nearer to their home and family. In these cases, patients will have had their specialist treatment, are almost always stable and the transfer may involve a step-down in the level of their care.

The network audits all critical care patient transfers within North West London. We use this information about direct patient experiences to help local clinicians and managers improve access, efficiency and safety.

On this website you will find information and tools designed to support you in delivering best practice to critically ill patients requiring transfer.

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