NHS Confirms Blood Products Will Be Transported To Scilly

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust has confirmed the Steamship Company will be able to transport blood products to and from the islands for medical reasons when the helicopter stops flying in November.

They are currently carried by the helicopter under a special licence. The Steamship Company has applied for a similar one for their Skybus planes, but there were fears the process could take up to six months.

Yesterday, Zoe Howard from the NHS confirmed that blood samples for testing on the mainland and transfusions for patients on the islands would be carried on the Gry Maritha until the necessary permits are in place for the aircraft.

This will come as a relief to one islands’ resident who contacted us last week.

The person, who wished to remain anonymous, regularly receives a transfusion of antibodies at St Mary’s health centre, something she fought hard to receive locally, instead of having to travel to the mainland every two weeks for several days of treatment.

She had been told that she would have to resume her mainland hospital visits in November until Skybus could carry the medication.

Nick Sanders, Group Commercial Manager of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, says the NHS has arranged a special motorcycle courier service, which will transport items to and from the ship. Some items classed as non-hazardous will also be carried straight away by plane.

He said the new arrangements will be in place before the two-week gap in helicopter services during October.