Changes Planned To Emergency Medical Evacuations

RNAS rescue helicopter from RAF Culdrose

Councillors have heard plans that should ensure islanders or visitors with life threatening injuries are sent quickly to the best hospital for their condition.

And Health Committee Chairman, Dudley Mumford, has suggested that the islands should be represented in the regional trauma network.

Trauma refers to severe burns, spinal or head injuries, or medical emergencies like stab wounds.

Critical patients are often transferred for specialist care in Bristol or Plymouth.

Dr Mark Jadav, Consultant in Emergency Care at Treliske Hospital, told Councillors the trauma network would have paramedics assess the situation, so patients would be sent straight to the best equipped hospital instead of being transferred later.

There have been no major trauma incidents from the islands in the last six months and in the future, most people would go to Treliske.

Both the Navy search and rescue team and air ambulance are supportive but there are concerns about the closure of Plymouth airport.

That’s where the search and rescue helicopter currently lands but it won’t be able to without staff there offering weather reports.

The consultant says Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust needs to upgrade their helipad, which can take the air ambulance but not the Culdrose chopper.