The London Neonatal Transfer Service (NTS) is the dedicated regional neonatal transfer service for London. They aim to be the single port of call for cot location and transfer of neonates between neonatal units across the London region, providing a consultant-led service based round the clock 365 days a year. They take pride in being safe, caring and efficient, delivering high standards of care in the field of neonatal transport medicine. The team works closely with the neonatal transfer services for Kent, Sussex, Surrey and the East of England as well as with the Children’s Acute Transfer Service (CATS) and the South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) who together provide paediatric intensive care retrievals for London and the South East.
View the CATS information booklet.
View the How to Prepare for NTS Transfer doc.
Please see the following Letter on Elective Transfers in order to maximize the reach of the service.
London NTS is based at The Royal London Hospital, but is a service for all neonatal units in London. They have an emergency team that operates day and night, seven days a week, and an elective team who work during the day, Monday to Friday.
London NTS has three dedicated neonatal ambulances that are specially equipped to provide a mobile neonatal intensive care environment for babies needing transfer. The doctors, nurses, and paramedics who work on London NTS are all senior and very experienced in looking after very sick babies both in neonatal units, and in the transfer setting. Most babies needing an emergency transfer will be looked after by a doctor, nurse, and paramedic, whilst babies being transferred back to their ‘home’ hospitals will usually be accompanied by an NTS nurse and paramedic.
London NTS is the second busiest neonatal transfer service in the United Kingdom. However, according to the most recent national benchmarking exercise (undertaken in November 2014) they transfer the highest proportion of babies needing the most intensive support.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, London NTS received 2085 referrals (1345 emergency and 740 elective). Of these, 1186 babies were transferred by the emergency service and 406 by the elective service.
The London NTS is available for all emergency transfers (as described above) from London neonatal units to other London neonatal units, (this includes surgical and cardiac units), as defined by the boundaries of the M25.
If a baby needs an emergency transfer to a neonatal unit outside of London due to an acute lack of capacity in London, then it is within the remit of the London NTS to undertake the transfer. This does not apply to planned repatriations to the baby’s ‘home’ unit.
If however a baby is being transferred to a London neonatal unit from a unit outside of London, then the transfer should be undertaken by the transfer service which covers the area that the referring unit is located in.
Repatriation transfers fall to the transfer service covering the home postcode of the parents if a baby is being repatriated to outside London.