An RAF Puma helicopter based at Kinloss has supported the NHS in Scotland with the first transfer of a critically ill patient from the Isle of Arran.
Three Pumas are currently based at Kinloss Barracks in Scotland as part of a new Aviation Task Force which was set up to support the government’s response to coronavirus.
“The crew were called at 0100 on Wednesday to support the transfer of a critically ill patient from the Isle of Arran to the University Hospital Crosshouse in Kilmarnock after the patient showed severe symptoms of coronavirus. The three-person helicopter crew flew to Arran, where they landed at Knockenkelly and met the emergency medical care team on site.”
UK Government minister for Scotland, Douglas Ross, said:
“I would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery and thank the team from Kinloss Barracks who were involved in the airlift. This is another example of the fantastic effort the UK’s Armed Forces are providing to support patients across the UK and help health professionals tackle coronavirus.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“Today’s medical evacuation is a great example of the UK Armed Forces’ ability to support our most remote communities across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. I am proud of the skill and professionalism of our personnel and their support to colleagues in the NHS and social care.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service have significantly increased capacity for airlifting patients off the islands and to ensure that any patients from our island communities, including those with coronavirus symptoms, can be transported to receive the appropriate healthcare when they need it.