Orkney MSP, Liam McArthur, has today welcomed confirmation that isles patients, and accompanying carers, will be able to use lounge facilities in Aberdeen airport.
The airport has announced that an agreement has been reached with Eastern Airlines that means that, in future, patients returning from hospital treatment in Aberdeen will be granted free access to the lounge, situated close to the departure gates generally used for flights to the Northern Isles. This will allow patients who need it greater privacy and comfort.
Reacting to the announcement by Aberdeen airport, Mr McArthur said:
“The Aberdeen air service is a vital link in the delivery of specialist health services to people in Orkney and Shetland. Given the number of patients from the Northern Isles using the route on a daily basis, it cannot simply be viewed in the same way as any other air service.
“Too often in the past isles patients have not enjoyed a positive experience at Aberdeen airport. Returning after hospital treatment, many individuals can feel poorly and find it difficult to cope with sitting for long periods in a public space. That is why I have been campaigning over recent years to see facilities made available that give these patients the added comfort and privacy they need and deserve.
“I am pleased that such facilities have now been made available and thank all those who have played their part in making this happen. NHS Orkney and Loganair have long been very supportive, as have CLAN and the Red Cross. I would also like to put on record my gratitude to Aberdeen airport and Eastern Airways for their efforts in getting a solution in place.
“Some of the details about how these arrangements will work in practice are yet to be finalised, but I hope that the lounge will be made accessible to Orkney and Shetland patients in the coming weeks”.