Transporting Children

Many hospitals when presented with a critically ill child do not have the facilities or expertise to give them the best chance of survival, but also cannot risk transporting a child who might die en route.

The PICU at St Mary’s has pioneered a retrieval service for children too sick to be moved from other hospitals without PICU facilities. A team of PICU doctors and nurses travel via MICA (Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance) to any hospital within a 50-mile radius to stabilise and transport the child safely back to St Mary’s. The MICA was entirely paid for with funds raised by COSMIC.

This pioneering ambulance was then developed into a nationwide service now known as CATS (Children’s Acute Transport Service). This special intensive care transport team covers 50 hospitals in England, as is one of the largest specialist paediatric retrieval services in Europe. We are proud that some of our PICU’s staff are part of the consultant-led medical team who work hard to make sure every critically ill child in transported safely between hospitals. Please see more at