Referral process

Ambulance retrievalAs soon as you suspect a child might need paediatric intensive care, please phone the SORT hotline for advice regarding stabilisation and on-going management of your patient.

Calls made early in the course of a child’s illness may allow us to give advice that might prevent the need for subsequent management on PICU. 

Calls to the SORT hotline will allow the SORT consultant to be conferenced into conversations at the start of the referral process. Please make use of the SORT retrieval form to gather the information that will be requested during the referral call.

During the phone call a decision will be made as to whether the SORT team needs to be mobilised or whether we can continue to jointly manage the patient in their local hospital. If the child is to be retrieved, please use of the checklist for ventilated patients prior to transfer to aid management prior to the arrival of SORT. You may also wish to give the families the PICU retrieval service: Information for families leaflet.

The child will be transferred to the nearest available PICU bed. Should a bed not be available in Oxford or Southampton, the SORT team will locate and transfer the child to the nearest PICU bed out of region on your behalf.

Should air transportation be required we will provide specific advice about the process involved.