Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Emergency baby helicopter service based in Sheffield

A new emergency helicopter service which will transport critically-ill babies is to be based in Sheffield.

The Newborn Emergency Transport Service (NETS) will be dedicated to transferring newborn babies and young children between specialist hospitals.

NETS said the aircraft "could travel as far as Great Ormond Street Hospital in London within 40 minutes" from its base at Sheffield City Heliport.

The helicopter will be able to travel at a speed of up to 160mph (257km/h).

Australian roots

Martin Eedes, the chief executive of NETS, said: "Sheffield has been chosen because of its central location relative to the 20 specialist children's intensive care units and centres of excellence around the country.

"It's absolutely vital that we have this service in place because we have some of the worst congested roads in the country and some of the worst weather and land ambulances find it very difficult to get through in those circumstances."

The charity which is based on one with the same name in Australia will cost £1m a year to run and will include a clinical training centre on the Sheffield site.

Me Eedes said: "We need people across the country to get behind this service, this is something new and so we need lots of volunteers."

The charity is currently looking for an appropriate helicopter to buy which is faster and larger than regional air ambulances.

It is hoped the helicopter will be in operation by the autumn.

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