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Paul Whittaker Interim Head of PR and Internal Communications




Birmingham Children's Hospital
Steelhouse Lane Birmingham, West Midlands
B4 6NH West Midlands

Expert transport team caring for the most poorly babies and children in the region celebrates its first birthday

KIDS and NTS along with staff from St John Ambulance at birthday celebration

KIDS and Newborn Transfer Service (NTS), the expert transport service led by Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, celebrated its first birthday with a ‘bubble blessing’ ceremony and birthday party attended by patients, staff and St John Ambulance.

KIDS, which provides specialist management and transport of critically ill children across the West Midlands, and the Newborn Transfer Service (NTS), which supports and transfers babies including the most fragile and premature to the right neonatal units across the region, formally integrated on 1 July 2016.

The joint team has supported nearly 3,400 referrals and transferred over 1,800 patients to intensive care and specialist units across the region, ensuring patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time. It has also taken 750 advice calls through its state-of-the-art communications system introduced during its integration to give access to a one-stop shop for health professionals from across the West Midlands and beyond.

The celebrations included a blessing of five new ambulances and their staff. The ceremony, led by Senior Chaplain, Paul Nash, was attended by families and patients who got involved by blowing bubbles over the new ambulances. Members of the staff choir also performed throughout the ceremony.    

Paul was joined by Muslim Chaplain, Sulayman Gaye and Hindu Priest, Rakesh Bhatt - members of the multi faith Chaplaincy team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, who offered a dedication to the new ambulances from their respective religions – a tradition for all new ambulances which become a part of the fleet.

Paul said: “It is a privilege to be invited by St John Ambulance and KIDS and NTS to bless the new ambulances.

“It honours the Christian heritage of St John Ambulance and our multi-faith city. It respects the partnership between St John Ambulance and the NHS. This is the second time we have been invited to bless their vehicles and their staff. Getting everyone involved by blowing bubbles as our blessings were given was a wonderful way to involve the patients, their families and staff - whatever their beliefs. Fun, yet significant blessings is a part of who we are and what we offer.” 

Along with the bubble blessing, the expert team organised a birthday party and invited staff and families to join them in playing party games and indulge in a homemade St John Ambulance cake and healthy snacks. A silent auction was also amongst the celebrations with the proceeds going towards resources and equipment for KIDS and NTS.

KIDS and NTS Lead Nurse, Emma Bull said:

“KIDS and NTS work so closely with St John Ambulance and it’s important to me that we use every opportunity to strengthen our team. It was an amazing opportunity for us to gather our teams together and celebrate our service. Having the three religious leaders at the ceremony reminded us of the diverse ages, cultures and localities we care for on a daily basis.

“Bringing these teams together has made communication sleeker and created a more seamless process for our babies and children.

When asked what she’d like to see during their second year, Emma said: “A continuation of merging our two amazing teams into one, by using each other’s knowledge and skill to provide a gold standard service”.

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