Quality Charta for European Air Ambulance Companies
- The patient is the focal point. Medical and social criteria take precedence over economic considerations.
- The level of medical urgency determines priorities for action.
- It is possible to transport patients by air even in cases with
operational or medical difficulties. The companies’ own aircraft, those
of partners, or scheduled services are used.
- The company / the organisation guarantees 24 hour accessibility and availability.
- The provision of assistance is proficient, worldwide, round the clock, prompt and cost-conscious.
- Expertise and equipment make the provision of bed-to-bed transfer possible.
- The company / the organisation is in possession of JAR OPS 1
certification (A.O.C.) and mainly operates its own aircraft for
transporting patients. The fleet includes at least one aircraft
especially for the transport of patients (dedicated air ambulance).
- Quality standards according to CEN (prEN 13718) are observed.
The members of staff are the crucial factor in the success of the air
ambulance. Not only have they received the best possible training
specifically for the job and their particular area of work, but, with
their attitude, motivation and identification with the task in hand,
they also contribute to ensuring that quality requirements are met. In
all operations only qualified, professional personnel with impeccable
qualifications are used. The core of the operational personnel must
consist mainly of permanent employees working on a regular basis. This
applies particularly to the chief medical doctor, the pilots and the
Operating resources / aircraft
- The fleet does fulfil all the relevant air traffic law requirements for the area of operation concerned.
- All aircraft are equipped with instrument flight navigation systems.
- All jets are RVSM approved.
- All aircraft are equipped with at least one permanently installed patient area.
- In order to be able to guarantee a high level of medical care and
provide the optimum conditions for transporting medically unstable
patients who are critically ill, all IPS areas have sufficient room for
staff to work on the patient, as well as the space and facilities for
attaching medical equipment.
- An on-board power supply is guaranteed for any medical equipment in use.
- Redundant systems for electricity and oxygen guarantee full operational ability for at least 60 minutes.
- The aircraft, or the way in which it is fitted out, enables
horizontal loading and unloading of the patient to be carried out
without any interruption to monitoring and treatment.
- A refrigerator, or at least a coolbox, is provided for the cooling or keeping of medicines and units of stored blood.
- A toilet is provided in every aircraft.
- In principle it is possible for the patient to be accompanied by relatives (depending on the patient's condition).
Work when in action
- The quality of the service is monitored continuously and adapted as required.
- The expertise and responsibilities of individual service providers are clearly regulated and documented in writing.
- The processes essential to provide the service have been recorded
in writing. They are monitored continuously and improved if necessary.
- The operations centre is manned round the clock.
- There is a doctor available 24 hours a day to clarify medical matters.
- Information specific to the case is obtained from the doctor in
attendance, possibly from the patient’s general practitioner, and, if
possible, directly from the patient and his relatives.
- The doctor providing any clarification takes responsibility for
assessing the case, as well as for making decisions regarding transport,
and provides justification for the latter to the patient, to his
relatives and to whoever is to bear the costs.
- During the planning stage important information is passed on
immediately to the doctor consulted for clarification and to the
patient, and possibly to his relatives, as well as to whoever is to bear
- The entire operation is monitored constantly by the operations centre.
- Operational irregularities are recognised in good time, rectified and communicated to those directly and indirectly concerned.
- There is a debriefing between the operations coordinator and the crew after each operation.
- Where different organisations are to work together or are replacing
each other, partners that meet the above quality standards will take
The Quality Charta was signed in September 2002