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UK NPAS - The Decline

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UK NPAS - The Decline

Old 24th Jun 2015, 19:54
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So Nial, NPAS do something positive and you bash them for it?!?

Could the transfer have been so easy to arrange pre NPAS?

Do you really think they would have used NPAS had there been alternatives?

I'm bored and tired of this NPAS bashing.

In the words of Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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Old 24th Jun 2015, 21:06
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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We do not normally undertake transplants on 'sick' patients. The typical recipient will be someone with long term kidney failure having dialysis a couple of times a week and living a normal life.

So I presume some chap at work was told a kidney had come up for him or her, and rather than bring the kidney to him, could he pop up to Sheffield.

Logically we would get a blood transfusion vehicle to drive the kidney to the patient - it lasts in ice for many hours. Failing that we used to get a traffic police vehicle to drive the patient up. I don't recall the NHS ever being charged but it was a matter of a few hundred pounds. Nowadays there is a contracted fixed wing service which goes to collect kidneys ie takes them from donors as well.

So the use of a police or SAR helicopter by a cash strapped NHS and a resource strapped police and SAR service does seem to be something that deserves a smack on the wrist
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Old 25th Jun 2015, 02:45
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It's Nail, Not Nial !

You also seem to have misread the rest of my Post - I haven't "bashed" NPAS for this at all -
merely raised a few questions then after pointing out what happened,
as is my Democratic right as a UK Taxpayer

As it happens my PERSONAL Opinion is that this was NOT a good use
of Police Aircraft,
but then I don't know "all" of the facts.

LIke I don't know WHY they had to be transported by Air at all,
other than there was probably a Kidney waiting in Sheffiled
that would only last for a certain length of time.

Pre NPAS - YES the Transfer would have been easy to arrange,
if it was Life Threatening, as Crab has pointed out.
Post NPAS it would seem, at least for now, that this is still the case.

Do I think they would have requested NPAS if there were alternartrives ? -
YES - if "they" thought that they could get away without having to pay !

I'm sorry if you are bored by what you describe as NPAS Bashing,
but is it not actually a good idea to raise such issues and concerns for discussion -
for the BENEFIT of NPAS and those Police forces receiving their services ?

As I understand things this was NOT an immediately Life Threatening scenariio, so SAR were either not requested, or declined a request.

Why weren't Air Ambulances used ? - The nights are only just now starting to draw in, so no problems of them not being able to fly at night,
but I suspect there are still some Political differences of opinion between some of the various Air Ambulance charities and NHS Trusts,
so maybe that was why NPAS were approached instead.

What concerns me more than what I believe may have beeen an inappropriate use of the aircraft,
is that I would not be at all surprised if the costs are NOT passed on to the NHS, who will then see it as a Green light
to request such Transfers again and again - and who can blame them when they are also strapped for cash ?

NPAS is / was supposed to about providing a Cost effective and effficient service to the Police,
and if their Hours are going to be effectively wasted like this, while leaving large areas of the Country
with little or no Police Air Support, then I really do wonder what the thought processes were,
of whoever authorised those Flights ?

By all means utilise any spare capacity to provide additional chargeable services,
but when the level of UK Police Air Support has already been so drastically cut,
how can such Tasks be justified in non Life Threatening circumstances -
even if the costs are recovered ?

Nail
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Old 25th Jun 2015, 07:13
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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In Australia (specifically Victoria) this type of work is not the exclusive remit of EMS or public service helicopters.

I had a long standing arrangement with our trauma management to transport organs and even organ teams as required, day or night, and was paid for the service by the hospital. Obviously slightly different to the UK since distances are significant issues, generally harvested organs would be brought in an esky by a scheduled domestic airline and we would meet them on the ramp and then fly to the designated hospital. Organ teams would be taken to a regional hospital to gather the donated organs (a long job, obviously) and we'd then return the team plus harvested organs.

I got involved because of the very reason discussed here, the suitable use of our local VicPol helicopters and EMS machines. Not only did such work take them away from their core tasking but the inter-agency charges were actually quite a lot more than my commercial rates.
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Old 25th Jun 2015, 07:34
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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A kidney became available in Sheffield at short notice.
The NHS went down the list of patients that matched the kidney.
The top handful were not available/willing to have the transplant at such short notice.
Next on the list was this guy, (who was on holiday). He agreed.
He was a walking 'patient' who sat in a seat during the transfer.
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Old 25th Jun 2015, 20:48
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Sorry Nail.

It's a great escapade - logistics and good practise for the future with the uses that NPAS will have - watch this space.

Each aircraft kept close to operating area by 'relaying'.

An excellent practise at shuffling and arranging aircraft about.

Some guy got an important op he needed before the organ went off.

The public sector would have paid for it no matter what transport option was used.

With very high fixed costs the more you fly the cheaper it gets!
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Old 25th Jun 2015, 22:38
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misterbonkers,

You really are !

"IF" NPAS were paid for this Patient Transfer by the NHS then that is one thing,
and there would "only" ( ) be the not insignificant matter
of the reduction in POLICE service during those few hours to chew over.

So - does anyone know - WILL NPAS be paid for this ?

I also wonder just how long in time it actually took - from the moment that the specific patient
was identified as beng the recipient, to his ultimate arrival at Sheffield Hospital ? .......

Phone call from Transplant Team to the Recipient who agrees, then what ?

Maybe up to half an hour or even more for the Transplant Team to consider all the options,
to dismiss Air Ambulance, SAR, and Blood Bike options,
find the Contact details and make the request to NPAS, ( 0h 30m )
then another 15 minutes or so for NPAS to consider and obtain the authority to conduct the Task, ( 0h 45m ),
then another 15 minutes to identify the "Nearest aircraft", determine that it will need 2 aircraft or a refuel stop to complete the journey,
decide whch option to use and then arrange the second aircraft,
and get the first one airborne and en route to Treliske - quite possible that an hour could have already passed by now. ( 1h 00m )

Approximately 80 mile Transit ( assuming from Base ) to Treliske - 40 Minutes.
( 1h 40m )
For sake of argument 20 minute turn-around for Passenger to be briefed and loaded and to get airborne. ( 2h 00m )
140 mile transit to Filton - an hour and 10 minutes ( 3h 10m )
10 - 15 minute handover and transfer patient to NPAS HusBos - assuming they had arrived, ( 3h 20m )
Another 140 mile transit to Sheffield Hospital = another 1 Hour 10 minutes,
making a total of approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.

Sticking to the Speed limit you can drive ( without Blues & Two's ) from Treliske to Sheffield in 5 hours and 25 minutes
I reckon half an hour could easily shaved from that.

So, convince me this was best use of a cash strapped POLICE air service
even if only a proportion of the costs WERE paid for by the NHS, which I very much doubt :
( The following figures are VERY approximate - based on cross charges that HAVE been levied previously, but are only used to demonstrate the point ) :

Completing the journey by road : Approx. 340 miles = 60 worth of petrol each way,
or, saving half an hour - using around 4 Hours 50 minutes total flying time
( if both aircraft re-positioned back to their Bases )
at around 1200 per hour = 5800.00

Nail
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Old 26th Jun 2015, 16:56
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Yes I may well be. Keep bashing.




Originally Posted by Nail The Dream View Post
misterbonkers,

You really are !

"IF" NPAS were paid for this Patient Transfer by the NHS then that is one thing,
and there would "only" ( ) be the not insignificant matter
of the reduction in POLICE service during those few hours to chew over.

So - does anyone know - WILL NPAS be paid for this ?

I also wonder just how long in time it actually took - from the moment that the specific patient
was identified as beng the recipient, to his ultimate arrival at Sheffield Hospital ? .......

Phone call from Transplant Team to the Recipient who agrees, then what ?

Maybe up to half an hour or even more for the Transplant Team to consider all the options,
to dismiss Air Ambulance, SAR, and Blood Bike options,
find the Contact details and make the request to NPAS, ( 0h 30m )
then another 15 minutes or so for NPAS to consider and obtain the authority to conduct the Task, ( 0h 45m ),
then another 15 minutes to identify the "Nearest aircraft", determine that it will need 2 aircraft or a refuel stop to complete the journey,
decide whch option to use and then arrange the second aircraft,
and get the first one airborne and en route to Treliske - quite possible that an hour could have already passed by now. ( 1h 00m )

Approximately 80 mile Transit ( assuming from Base ) to Treliske - 40 Minutes.
( 1h 40m )
For sake of argument 20 minute turn-around for Passenger to be briefed and loaded and to get airborne. ( 2h 00m )
140 mile transit to Filton - an hour and 10 minutes ( 3h 10m )
10 - 15 minute handover and transfer patient to NPAS HusBos - assuming they had arrived, ( 3h 20m )
Another 140 mile transit to Sheffield Hospital = another 1 Hour 10 minutes,
making a total of approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.

Sticking to the Speed limit you can drive ( without Blues & Two's ) from Treliske to Sheffield in 5 hours and 25 minutes
I reckon half an hour could easily shaved from that.

So, convince me this was best use of a cash strapped POLICE air service
even if only a proportion of the costs WERE paid for by the NHS, which I very much doubt :
( The following figures are VERY approximate - based on cross charges that HAVE been levied previously, but are only used to demonstrate the point ) :

Completing the journey by road : Approx. 340 miles = 60 worth of petrol each way,
or, saving half an hour - using around 4 Hours 50 minutes total flying time
( if both aircraft re-positioned back to their Bases )
at around 1200 per hour = 5800.00

Nail
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Old 26th Jun 2015, 18:16
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Cost aside, does the PAOC allow this flight? Was a question asked earlier. If it doesn't, did they break any rules?
I seem to remember AOC flights were allowed.
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Old 26th Jun 2015, 21:17
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I believe that only a matter of days ago ( 19th June ? ) it was cleared
that "non CAA approved passengers" CAN be carried with the permission of the NPAS SLT.

So IF this flight received such approval in advance, then at least it would have been legal

( Unlike another rumour I heard of a couple of months back, where members of a family from Yorkshire
were flown in an NPAS helicopter to a hospital in Wales in order for them to see a relative in hospital down there ! )

But we digress - I hope there are no calls for Patient Transfers this evening / tonight,
knowing the state of available Police Air Cover for the Midlands Region
( where I live and where we used to get 24 Hour Police Air Support within
a few minutes of it being requested ), AND in the South West Region !

Nail
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 14:52
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It's gone VERY quite in here - perhaps no-one cares about the ever deteriorating state of UK Police Air Support any more ?

I wonder what the various Chief Constables and Police Authority members think now, after they were either Press-Ganged into signing up for NPAS, or tempted to do so by promises of a more efficient service at a reduced cost, and 24 hours a day cover, when they hear stories of :

A cash strapped NPAS allowing aircraft to be used for non life threatening Patient Transfers, paid for out of the NPAS budget, leaving little or no cover for "Police" work in huge areas,

Greater cuts in the helicopter fleet than originally intended with re-assurances that the loss of Rotary cover would be made up by the introduction of a Fixed Wing fleet, mand those plans now looking more likely than ever that they won't materialise at all,

Pilots considering taking NPAS to Court for unfair dismissal - after the ludicrous way staff had to bid for jobs when certain Base closures were announced, and those voting to work from a particular new base that had been announced, found out the very next day after nominations closed, that this new Base was not happening after all,and it was now too late for them to nominate another Base in their Region as the staff in Post there had been confirmed in position, because their had been no other nominations at the closing date!

An aircraft normally providing Night shift cover for Birmingham (the 2nd City!) was re-deployed to operate from Filton and provide cover for the South West AND Midlands Regions,

There might be times when there are only 5 helicopters available to cover the whole of Engand & Wales,

Despite all the cutbacks, staffing issues, and lack of aircraft available on-line, justification can still be made to attend "Important events" such as the "Armed Forces" Day ( An event I wholeheartedly support - but is there a NEED for a POLICE helicopter to be there? I didn't realise the police were categorised as an "Armed Force" as only a few of them are armed - though AFAIK, none of the aircrew are routinely armed ),

In an attempt to show how good things are in NPAS land, a Procurment Plan for standardising equipment resulted in a new design of Despatchers Harness mbeing purchased for every aicraft, without consutation of the "end users" such that many respected and knowledgable Staff members raised objections and refused to use them on the grounds that they were unsafe/impractical, but to no avail, as existing serviceable harnesses were confiscated and shredded - despite having a resale value !

..... and so on ......



But like I say, it looks like no-one cares any more, or those that do, and who are doing their utmost to continue providing the best service they can in the circumstances, have been silenced

Nail (in the coffin).

Last edited by Nail The Dream; 4th Jul 2015 at 15:10.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 09:46
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Well said. It's sad to watch.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 16:18
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Here's an interesting thought as aircraft get fewer and fewer and transit times get greater......
In the olde days a unit that I know of was completing an average of about 3 tasks an hour.
I wander what the average sortie times are now?
Of course with greater transit times there is a greater cost per task. Are Forces burning their annual budget based on flying hours now on aircraft travelling long distances to get to the incident?
Less efficient than the olde days one might say.......
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 20:56
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Looks like someone has had his wings clipped.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 22:07
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It appears someone has had his wings clipped?
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 05:12
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"Someone" ?? - I suspect that's everyone that still has a job with NPAS - for fear of losing it.

The pre-NPAS culture of being encouraged to voice opinions and express views
openly without fear of reprisal appears to be a thing of the past.

Bizarrely, despite all the Base closures, there are still Staff vacancies, not only for Pilots,
but for "TFO's" too - looks like there might be a fair but of ship jumping going on !
https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engin...VmZGUzZGQ1Yzg=

Anyone know what NPAS are offering as Pilot Salary these days,
and any re-location packages that might be dangled in their direction ?

Nail
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 16:07
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Silence = memo from above?
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 17:54
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It certainly seems that way !

Does anyone else remember the anonymous discusssions, reports, and even criticisms,
that were actively ENCOURAGED within UK Police aviation pre NPAS ?

I'm referring to the Flight Safety reporting scheme, that was administered IIRC, by one of the first Police Air Units to be closed by NPAS
The scheme was very simple - Any Flight Safety issue, or in-flight incident of note, or CRM topic etc,
could be reported openly and anonymously ( if so desired ) and was then promulgated
around all of the other Units for their information and attention.

With the Clutha Bar AAIB report due out "soon", it might be an ideal time,
( in view of NPAS SMT's rumoured "Memo(s) from above" to their staff NOT to discuss NPAS on Public Forums ),
to have a think about whatever Safety Management System / Reporting Scheme NPAS have adopted to replace the one referred to above.
I really do hope that whatever is now being used, isn't constrained by similar "Memo's", such that incidents which might otherwise be reported
for eveyone's benefit ( and SAFETY ), are effectively censored out due to the report writer fearing potential personal consequences ?

Nail
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 19:23
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No names but like Icarus sailing too close to the sun can cause problems.

If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen but never bite the hand that feeds you.

And remember do not discuss NPAS ops on a public forum.

I hear some have had a talking to?

Senior Management Team not happy ;-)

Last edited by Romeopapa; 6th Jul 2015 at 19:33.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 19:25
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Nail,
The new SMS/Incident/Occurence reporting system adopted by NPAS is a web based system called Sirocco.

From a bit of a slow/restricted start - it's now opened up a bit more and seems to be working well.
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