Following a question from Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart, the Scottish Health Secretary has today confirmed island patients with COVID-19 who need intensive care will be transferred to the mainland by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Ms Wishart asked the Health Secretary for reassurances that medical evacuations for island patients needing intensive care on the mainland will be carried out safely and efficiently.
The Health Secretary replied that the Scottish Ambulance Service “will ensure the transfer of any patient from any of our islands who has clinical need to do so.” Ms Freeman confirmed that concerns regarding fixed wing aircraft and personal protective equipment have been resolved and that the Scottish Ambulance Service held a conference call with Chief Executives from Highlands and Islands Health Boards on Friday to produce plans for these circumstances, including the possible use of ferries and road transport.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“I’m grateful for the assurances from the Health Secretary that plans are in place to transfer isles patients who need intensive care to the mainland. With no intensive care unit in Shetland, it’s crucial that any transfers are done as safely and efficiently as possible and that NHS staff and patients know exactly how that will happen.”