In this retrospective study, a sample of 233 parents were surveyed, by means of a postal questionnaire, about their experience of a specialised paediatric retrieval service (median time interval after child's retrieval=10 months). Although all parents were routinely provided with written information about the retrieval service, only 46% remember receiving it. Also, although generally high, satisfaction ratings relating to the period of the child's transit were significantly lower (P<0.005) than those relating to the other stages of the transfer. Two main reasons were given by parents for their dissatisfaction: distress at being separated from their critically ill child and logistic problems locating and parking at the new hospital. Implications for future service provision are considered.