Capital Air Ambulance
BAN's World GazetteerU.K.
Capital Air Charter has been chosen to provide ambulance services to Jersey and Guernsey, after signing a shared contract with the islands. The deal, which has been approved by the health and social services departments on the two islands, means that Capital will fly critically ill patients to the UK for treatment, saving on cost and ensuring essential flight continuity for at least three years. The move is believed to make logistical sense, based on figures which show that Jersey carried out 346 emergency air transfers, and Guernsey 174, in 2012 alone.
For Jersey the contract is worth $1.5 million and the island is expected to save $65,000 by implementing the new scheme. Capital already holds the contract here and can therefore utilise existing infrastructure without requiring new facilities. The operation will continue to be stationed at Aviation Beauport, which is at Jersey airport, and a medical team will travel directly with the patient to the target hospital.
For Guernsey the contract is worth roughly half the amount, but the savings will be considerably more, at around $300,000.
Capital will be a new provider for the island but has been able to reassign its Piper Chieftain without needing to invest in new aircraft or infrastructure. The Chieftain will be based in Exeter, with a further Chieftain and King Air 200s providing backup. The approach is slightly different to Jersey, as a UK team is dispatched which then accompanies the patient to the hospital on the return leg. Capital Air Charter's Lisa Humphries says: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract and our entire team looks forward to working with Jersey and Guernsey to implement a safe, fast, efficient, cost-effective and flexible patient air transfer service, unrivalled in the British Isles.
“We are already fully equipped because we've had the Jersey contract for the last six years and we also have the Isle of Man air ambulance contract. This is a natural progression. We have been around 22 years now and it's nice to have been here all this time and still be growing.”
The two islands will use different aircraft to conduct the emergency air transfers and each island is to have a separate service level agreement with the operator, to allow for variations in their respective health systems.