Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has met with Rob Dalziel, Operational Lead for the Scottish Air Ambulance Service, to follow up on concerns about patient transfer delays from Kirkwall Airport to the new Balfour Hospital.
The meeting also focused on how the Air Ambulance Service could continue to best support and meet the needs of Orkney residents.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“Air ambulance cover remains crucially important for people in Orkney, particularly those living in the smaller isles. Over recent years, I’ve arranged regular visits to the islands by senior representatives from the Scottish Ambulance Service with a view to helping build relationships, identify areas for improvement and develop a better understanding within SAS about the specific needs of different island communities. I am pleased that Rob Dalziel remains committed to continuing these visits going forward and I hope to arrange another one earlier in the new year.
“Meantime, Mr Dalziel has also agreed to follow up concerns about delays in transferring patients from Kirkwall airport to the new Balfour hospital. In the absence of a helipad, Mr Dalziel acknowledged that there were still options available for reducing if not eliminating such delays and has agreed to work with colleagues to put arrangements in place. I look forward to seeing those changes made in the interests of patients, but also in the interests of freeing up air ambulance crews to respond to other call outs.”