Emergency arrivals

Consistent access to care

While the majority of our RASS patients arrive via small boats into Dover or Manston, we sometimes also receive calls that a flight is due to land at neighbouring Gatwick Airport and that passengers require immediate assistance. However they arrive, those with urgent health needs are assessed immediately, often in makeshift airport lounges. We use whatever space and resources we have available to us to deliver a safe and discreet setting. 

Once they reach one of the hotels we work with – usually within 24 hours of arrival – they are added to our clinical system and a telephone interpreter is arranged. We then screen for diphtheria before gaining consent and then prescribing antibiotics and administering a diphtheria vaccination.

We then set about addressing urgent health needs which may include:

  • prescribing medication if needed
  • supplying over the counter medication
  • referring pregnant women urgently to the local maternity team
  • updating GP practices with details of patients who need urgent registration for referrals 
  • arranging admission if required
  • treating chemical burns and referring to burns and wound care service if needed
  • offering access to sexual health screening, pregnancy screening, mental health support and safeguarding agencies
  • notification to police and safeguarding teams with any modern slavery / trafficking concerns

Offering access to GP registration once patients arrive at their hotel is important to ensure consistent access to care.