Our goals are:

  • To provide safe, efficient and timely retrieval and transfer of neonates for critical care and other specialist care in tertiary hospitals across Ireland and abroad.

  • To enhance clinical outcomes for critically ill neonates by providing early appropriate transfer decision making, pre-transport stabilisation and specialised care en-route.




The Department of Health and Children approved the programme as a 9-5/7 service in 1998 and the first NNTP patient was transported in March 2001. Following much demand from service users, the NNTP hours of operation were extended in December 2013 and since then we have been delivering a 24/ 7 service.  Over 600 acute neonatal transports are completed by the NNTP annually, a figure which represents approximately 92% of the total number of newborn infants transferred for critical care in Ireland each year. The NNTP is now universally accepted as both an essential component and integral part of the Irish national neonatal clinical network (HSE's National Neonatal Clinical Programme, 2015) 



The transport service is intended for any infant up to the age of 28 days (corrected gestational age) who requires an increased level of care not available at the referring hospital. This care may include, but is not limited to speciality services including:

  • Neonatology
  • Cardiology
  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • or a higher level of intensive care than is available at the referring hospital.

The majority of infants are transported to Dublin hospitals but the NNTP will also transport neonates to regional neonatal/surgical intensive care units nationally or internationally as required.



  • The programme accepts calls for transfer, twenty fours a day, seven days a week, via a dedicated 'NNTP Transport Hotline' Number : 0818 300188. Calls are processed by a specific retrieval /transport call handling desk within the NAS where the referring hospital is connected directly with the NNTP on call team.
  • A designated neonatal transport consultant (when required), neonatal  nurse, neonatal registrar and an ambulance operator/EMT/ paramedic are available to set out within 40 minutes to any hospital for a sick infant.
  • The team travel in one of the NNTP's dedicated ambulances, which has been designed and equipped especially for neonatal retrievals.
  • When air transport is required, the NNTP's air transport module is utilised in the Irish Air Corps' helicopters/fixed wing aircraft.
  • The team provides stabilisation advice and intensive care at the referring hospital, prior to, as well as during the transport to the relevant tertiary centre.
  • The NNTP conducts one transport at a time, except in the case of twins when if necesary, both infants can be accomodated together in our road ambulance.
  • If two or more transport requests are received simultaneously, priority is given to the most critically ill baby and/or he baby in a hospital with limited personnel/resources to provide care for extended periods of times
  • Service Guidelines and protocols are available in all units and available on this site.


About the Service  >  Service Aims