Retrieval service - WATCH
Since 1st September 2015, retrieval of patients from other hospitals into Cardiff PICU has been operated by a newly commissioned service operated from Bristol, but managed jointly by the PICU clinicians in Bristol Children's Hospital and Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales.
WATCH stands for Wales and West Acute Transport for Children - visit their website for more detailed information
The centralised nature of paediatric intensive care means that the majority of critically ill children will present for initial management to a hospital without specialist PICU facilities. These children will then need to transferred to PICU. Evidence suggests that this is best undertaken by specially trained teams.
Occasionally, there are children for whom the benefits of retrieval are outweighed by the requirement for urgent surgery - this is typically children with and intracranial haematoma or a blocked ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. The most rapid way to transport these children to theatre is for the referring hospital to transfer them. All hospitals who potentially deal with such children are therefore advised to have a procedure in place to enable them to undertake these transfers.