Transport Team

The Christchurch Women’s Neonatal Transport Team covers retrievals of newborn, premature and/or sick babies from Kaikoura to the West Coast and down to Timaru, as not all hospitals have the resources to care for preterm or sick babies. The team also covers the retrieval of babies requiring surgical intervention from Nelson to Invercargill and take them to Christchurch Women’s Hospital, which is the only hospital that provides surgical services to neonates in the South Island. 

​​​​​The transport team may also collect preterm or sick babies from other hospitals around New Zealand if the retrieval team from the referring hospital is unable to do the transport. The transport team will also transfer babies back to their home hospitals once they are well enough and are almost ready for discharge home.

The goal of the Neonatal Emergency Transport Team is to provide the same quality of specialised care to newborn, premature and/or sick babies as they would receive within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit environment to reduce morbidity and mortality. The team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The transport team consists of a dedicated team of specially trained Registered Nurses/Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Advanced Nurse Practitioner and a Neonatal Registrar.

The babies are transported by Road Ambulance (St John) or by Fixed Wing Aircraft (New Zealand Flying Doctors) or Helicopter (Garden City Helicopter). 

The Neonatal Transport Team does between 60-80 emergency retrievals a year and 40 transfers of babies back to their home hospital. About half of the transports are by ambulance and half by fixed wing and only a few by helicopter.

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Page last reviewed: 24 February 2014