Scilly’s Healthwatch Meets Officials Over New Search And Rescue Service

culdrose rescue helicopterScilly’s Healthwatch group has met with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to discuss medical evacuation plans when the Culdrose search and rescue helicopter service ends.

Contractor Bristow takes over on January 1st 2016.

Some islanders have voiced concern that the new operator won’t have the local knowledge, but Jane Hurd, who attended the mainland meeting, says the MCA pointed out that the majority of pilots are transferring over from Culdrose to the new base at Newquay.

The current search and rescue head will also make the move.

There will be one operational helicopter at Newquay, and one on stand-by, but only one crew available. It’s the same arrangement as currently operated with Culdrose.

Jane was told that Scilly can be reached from three or four other bases without refuelling if needed.

One development with the new S92 helicopters will be the use of broadband or 3G to send images of injuries ahead to the hospital. A paramedic will also be part of the onboard crew

But Jane reported that, as is the case currently, arrangements for hospital-to-hospital evacuations remain a grey area and more discussions will need to take place.

Healthwatch says that representatives from the MCA and contractor Bristow are willing to visit Scilly and she suggests that the offer is pursued.