MSP requests action following air ambulance mistake

An air ambulance flight sent from Aberdeen to Orkney to pick up a sick baby flew instead to Sumburgh Airport.

The incident occurred last Friday after the plane, with an incubator onboard, was intended to head for Kirkwall.

Fortunately, according to the Scottish Ambulance Service, the patient was eventually “transferred safely to hospital in Aberdeen by air”, An investigation is now under way

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has written to ambulance service chief executive Pauline Howie over the issue, expressing his concern over what happened.

Mr McArthur suggested that such an incident, which the ambulance service described as an “extremely unusual occurrence”, risked damaging public confidence. He stressed the urgency of finding out what went wrong and ensuring it cannot happen again.

Mr McArthur said: “The importance of the air ambulance service to islanders cannot be overstated. All too often it can be the difference between life and death.

“Reports that a flight meant to pick up a patient in Orkney can end up in Shetland is therefore deeply concerning. Fortunately, on this occasion, no harm appears to have come to the young patient involved, but it is imperative that the investigation underway is concluded quickly and any additional safeguards necessary put in place.

“There must be no question of this sort of thing happening again. That is the assurance I have sought and hope to receive from the chief executive of SAS.”


Add Your Comment
  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 23rd, 2017 19:55

    Was this the result of centralisation? Or just another example of the fully devolved to Scotland, SNP NHS? We need a real change here, just what is the SNP/SG doing for Shetland and Orkney?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.