Team Arrival

Once we accept a referral, we aim to mobilise a retrieval team within 20 minutes. The median (average) CATS team mobilisation time has been relatively constant over the past 3 years at 20 minutes.

The time we take to reach the patient’s bedside after accepting the referral (team response time) obviously depends on how far we have to travel, but our median response time has been stable at around 75 minutes over the past 3 years. This means that in most cases the CATS team will be at the referring hospital within an hour and a half.

If we have to travel over 150-180 minutes by road (2.5 to 3 hrs) to reach the patient, and the child’s condition warranted it, we will aim to use a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft (see how we make a decision to undertake an aeromedical retrieval).

We take road and staff safety very seriously
We triage every referral based on the clinical condition of the child, and set target times to reach the referring hospital accordingly. This practice ensures that we do not unnecessarily compromise the safety of the general public and our staff by travelling on blue lights for all retrievals. Visit our CATS Standard Operating Procedures page for more information.
We collect data on response times and audit them regularly 
We audit our triage process continuously to check that it is robust and that it does not delay us reaching a sick child. If you are interested in median travel times to our referring hospitals, you can find the information here.