Covid-19 Coronavirus

Enhance Emergency Air Bridge

Project Manager: Rachael Harrison

Business Analyst: Nigel Hart


Health and Care transformation have received approval to fund a further 12 months of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services). The HEMS service was first introduced on a trial basis in March 2022, for an initial six months, which was then extended to March 2023.

The service is being provided by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). When called into action, the HEMS arrives at the scene of an accident or emergency and provides emergency treatment, including things such as blood transfusions, at the scene of traumatic incidents, before transferring people to a specialist centre in the UK. This will make a real difference for those suffering significant trauma or serious illness on the Isle of Man. So far, there has been an average of 1+ missions per month.

We are sending thoughts and well wishes to all the patients and families involved.


To deliver an enhanced air bridge service that meets the needs of the Isle of Man citizens and complements and builds upon the current fixed-wing provision for air ambulance transfers. The project will:

  • Deliver a service which aims to take patients who are seriously ill or who have suffered a major trauma from the Isle of Man directly to the UK for emergency medical treatment
  • Identify the appropriate type(s) of air bridge services required to meet the changing needs of emergency air transfers to agreed providers of care off-Island
  • Create a business case for the provision of such services
  • Support the procurement of the agreed services
  • Outline the implementation plan for the procured services
  • Ensure the necessary business process changes within Manx Care are implemented to maximise the benefits of procured services
  • Consider known and arising issues relating to the use, staffing and views of emergency air bridge and consider options to resolve them


  • Initial analysis conducted with Manx Care to outline the feasibility of establishing an enhanced emergency air bridge, that being a modern solution (potentially using helicopters, fixed wing aircraft or both)
  • Following recommendations to the Health and Care Transformation Board, an agreement was made to partner with GNAAS to provide a HEMS for an initial period of six months and then up to five years
  • GNAAS have now registered on as a charity and corporation on the Island, in order to operate
  • A contract has been signed between the GNAAS and Manx Care
  • HEMS trial live as of 14 March 2022, initially due to end 14 September 2022
  • Further to the above, HEMS trial has been extended to 31 March 2023
  • Enhanced Cardio pathway with Liverpool Heart and Chest has been approved and is now live.  The improved pathway is already benefiting Manx residents 
  • Health and Care Transformation have received approval to fund a further 12 months, allowing the HEMS service time to integrate into the Manx Care Air Ambulance service before a further review point in 12 months.

Aims for the next 12 months

  • The project will Assist Manx Care’s Air Bridge Steering Group with the review and expansion of current clinical pathways to include HEMS where appropriate
  • The project is also working with Manx Care and GNAAS to assess the functionality of activation processes and whether there are aspects of the relationship or the delivery of the Services that either party could improve or how such improvement might be implemented
  • The project will Assist Manx Care in the clinical review that we hope will confirm the clinical benefit of the HEMS service and therefore continue the partnership with GNAAS into the future.

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