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Greater Manchester Neonatal Transport Service celebrates charitable purchase of new purpose-built neonatal ambulance

The Greater Manchester Neonatal Transport Service (GMNeTS) is this week celebrating the arrival of a new specially adapted ambulance for transporting sick or preterm babies from across the north-west region, than ks to the fundraising efforts of the Red Sea Pedestrians, supporters of Saint Mary's Hospital Charity.Neonatal ambulance

The Red Sea Pedestrians Valentine's Ball, held at the Hilton hotel in Manchester in February 2013, was attended by over 400 people who helped to raise an incredible £136,000 on the night. The money was raised through a number of fundraising activities throughout the evening, including an auction, raffle and a Stand for a Grand game, hosted by Saint Mary's Hospital Charity patron, actor and comedian John Thomson.

The new vehicle, a bespoke specialist neonatal ambulance, will be the only vehicle of its kind operational in the region and will be utilised by the GMNeTS team, in partnership with North West Ambulance Service crews.

Amongst the many advantages provided by the new ambulance are the inclusion of specialist transport equipment, greatly increased storage capacity for medical gases, much improved electrical power to support specialist medical equipment, additional seating for family members or nursing/medical staff and the availability of a specialist transport vehicle ready for immediate departure for time critical intensive care transfers. The dedicated neonatal ambulance will also limit the need to draw upon the pool of emergency ambulances available to the general public, thus freeing up paramedic resources.

Commenting on the purchase of the vehicle, which is due to enter service at the start of April, Dr Ian Dady, Consultant Neonatologist and Clinical Lead for GMNeTS and Saint Mary's Hospital, said:

"The purchase of a dedicated ambulance for newborn intensive care is a huge boost to the service and will make an enormous difference in the provision of care for many hundreds of poorly infants and their families every year. We would like to pay tribute to all those involved in the fundraising for this vehicle, particularly to the Red Sea Pedestrians for their outstanding contribution. It is no overstatement to say that this ambulance will, in partnership with the crews from the North West Ambulance Service, help us to save the lives of many very sick or preterm babies and for that we are tremendously grateful."

Director of Charities and Regeneration for Saint Mary's Hospital and a former Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Ambulance Service, David Cain, said:

"We at Saint Mary's Hospital Charity are extremely proud to have played a significant role in the purchase of this specialist neonatal vehicle and wish to place on record our thanks to the Red Sea Pedestrians in particular for their fundraising efforts. It is the extraordinary dedication of our charity's fundraisers and supporters which elevates the service and facilities provided by our hospitals to amongst the very best in the UK and the delivery of this much-needed resource shows how invaluable that support really is."

Breck Stockton from the fundraising committee of the Red Sea Pedestrians said:

"When the Red Sea Pedestrians fundraising committee heard about the invaluable service that a dedicated neonatal ambulance could provide for sick babies and their families from across the north-west then we were unanimous in our wish to support this project. We were delighted with the response from our supporters at our 2013 Valentine's Ball, raising a remarkable sum of over £136,000 in one evening, and feel very proud that the ambulance will very shortly be in service and saving lives across the region."

Tony Atkinson, NWAS Operations Manager commented:

"We're really pleased to have been involved in the designing and production of this Neonatal ambulance. Very shortly, NWAS managers will be training 12 of Saint Mary's neonatal nursing staff in the use of medical equipment on board the vehicle, in readiness for the ambulance being put into service in the coming weeks."

The Greater Manchester Neonatal Transport Service was formed in 2005 with the aim of providing the highest quality care to sick or premature newborn babies who require an ambulance transfer between hospital neonatal units. The service is based on the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mary's Hospital but provides a comprehensive 24/7 transfer service between all of the hospitals in the Greater Manchester Hospital Network of Neonatal Units.

GMNeTS also provides support to babies born in hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria who require an emergency transfer at nights and weekends. Since its launch in 2005, the transport team has seen an increase of around 40% in transfer activity.

The new ambulance will bear the registration plate V13 RSP in recognition of the fundraising by the Red Sea Pedestrians.

Saint Mary's Hospital Charity is raising money to ensure continued excellence in treatment, care and research at the hospital - improving the lives of thousands of patients each year across the North West and beyond.

The support of the Charity means that the hospital can provide additional resources that make life easier for patients and their families who use the hospital.




For further information please contact Rosie Fleig on rosie.fleig@cmft.nhs.uk or by calling 07980 589297


Back row: Breck Stockton, Nadine Wagman, Dr Ian Dady, David Cain, Suzie Margolis

Front row: Diane Payne, Liliana Payne, Tim Payne, Jill McCarroll

Notes to Editors


About Saint Mary's Hospital Charity:


  • Saint Mary's Hospital Charity is part of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity.  Registered charity number 1049274. 

  • The other hospitals which make up Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity are:


Manchester University Dental Hospital Charity

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Charity

Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity

Trafford Hospitals Charity


About the Red Sea Pedestrians:


  • The Red Sea Pedestrians was first formed in the mid-1980s by a group of friends who undertook a variety of fundraising initiatives.
  • The group reformed in 2008 and have since gone on to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity with their annual Valentine's Day Ball. For more information about the work of the Red Sea Pedestrians please contact Antony Wagman on antony@redseapedestrians.org