Patients needing intensive care will be transferred to mainland

Patients with Covid-19 who require intensive care will be transferred to the mainland by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

MSP Beatrice Wishart questioned Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman on the matter on Tuesday, who confirmed that those needing intensive care would be transferred.

Ms Wishart also 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.

Ms Freeman said the ambulance service would “ensure the transfer of any patient from any of our islands who has clinical need to do so”.

The 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, according to Ms Freeman.

“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,” said Ms Wishart. “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.”


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