The Intensive Care Society (ICS) and Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM), have released updated Guidance on the Transfer of the Critically Ill Adult, which provides a framework and series of recommendations for multidisciplinary teams across the country who work within this area of healthcare.
“This guidance is the go-to reference for staff as they prepare for and deliver the transfer of acutely unwell patients”
Recommendations published in the document suggest all staff potentially involved in the transport of critically ill adults should have access to appropriate educational resources, training in transfer medicine and supernumerary time.
The guidance also recommends that all staff working in transfers must be able to demonstrate the range of competencies appropriate to their role and warns that staff without said training and competencies should not undertake unsupervised transfers.
In addition, the document explains that all acute hospitals should nominate a lead consultant for critical care transfers who will be responsible for guidelines, staff training, competencies, and equipment provision.
Meanwhile, prior to a patient transfer, the guidance states that a risk assessment must be carried out and documented by a senior clinician to determine the level of anticipated risk during the transfer.
“Transferring critically ill patients requires exceptional planning and requires the staff to be highly trained”
It noted that the outcome of the risk assessment should then be used to determine competencies required by staff to accompany the patient.
Dr Stephen Webb, chair of the ICS standards division, said: “The launch of these guidelines is an important step for the critical care community. It helps us to maintain the highest standards of care and uphold patient safety.”
Deputy chair of the same division, Dr Paul Dean, added: “This guidance is the go-to reference for staff as they prepare for and deliver the transfer of acutely unwell patients.”
The ICS said the guidance was developed with patients, peers and the most-up-to-date evidence-based practice in mind.
FICM dean Dr Carl Waldmann said: “Transferring critically ill patients who may be suffering with several problems requiring multi organ support requires exceptional planning and requires the staff to be highly trained.
“The FICM have worked with the ICS to ensure staff have received up to date guidance to meet this challenge,” he added.