Organization and planning

Every hospital should have a senior doctor responsible for the organization of transfers, including the maintenance and availability of suitable equipment. Dedicated transfer equipment ready for use should be stored in designated areas familiar to staff and close to transit locations. Staff involved in transfers should receive training to ensure that they select the appropriate equipment for each transfer and that they can operate it safely and correctly. Ideally, transfer equipment should be lightweight, robust, reliable, and familiar to the transfer team. Electrically powered equipment should be able to run on batteries which last for at least 4 h and can be recharged rapidly. The transfer team should check all equipment; checklists provide a useful reminder of what to take for a transfer, what to bring back, and what needs to be restocked. A record of patient observations, drug therapy, and any interventions required should be made for every transfer, and should be kept to audit the transfer process, the outcome, and any problems associated with the transfer.

A full list of suggested equipment is shown in Table 1... Obviously the personnel involved (e.g. registered nurse, emergency medical technician, physician) and the type of patient will affect what is used.

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