Manx Care has extended its contract with the Great North Air Ambulance by a further year.

Manx Care and GNAAS first began working together in March 2022 as part of an initial trial to develop a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the Isle of Man.

The introduction of a HEMS service and an enhanced emergency air bridge allows patients who are seriously ill or who have suffered a major trauma to be taken directly from their community on the Isle of Man to a centre of excellence in the UK for emergency medical treatment.

Working closely with paramedics from Isle of Man Ambulance Service (IMAS), the GNAAS doctors and paramedics are able to provide patients with advanced levels of pre-hospital care due to the skills of their team and the equipment they carry on board their helicopter, says Manx Care.

It allows them faster access to specialist care at, for example, a major trauma centre or cardiac hospital in the North West UK.

GNAAS’ critical care team consists of a doctor, who is a pre-hospital emergency care qualified consultant, and specialist advanced trauma paramedic.

They can perform complex critical care procedures, usually only carried out in an operating theatre, at the scene of an incident.

Such procedures include pre-hospital anaesthesia, blood transfusions and advanced surgery.

The critical care team constantly practise simulation training as well as reviewing and evaluating the latest techniques, equipment and drugs to ensure they can provide the best care possible for patients.

Since the partnership began, GNAAS has responded by helicopter 22 times with 12 patients being transferred, most to specialist hospitals in the UK.

Will Bellamy, head of Isle of Man Ambulance Service, said: ‘My team in IMAS has really benefitted from the opportunity of coaching and mentoring from the exceptional GNAAS clinicians, which is proving beneficial to the communities they serve in the Isle of Man.’

David Stockton, chief executive of Great North Air Ambulance, added: ‘We are currently working with Manx Care to look at further opportunities to work together and provide additional support to people living on the island, for example during motorsport activities, and very much look forward to developing our relationship further across the next 12 months.’