Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:01 UK
The flying doctors

There are plans to increase the area covered by the service in late 2010

A helicopter emergency response service is to be rolled out to the whole of Scotland following a successful pilot scheme.

Twenty-four lives have been saved as a direct result of the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS).

Consultants in emergency medicine and intensive care are flown to remote locations, where they provide rural patients with the level of care they would receive in an urban hospital.

These doctors are on call to respond to life threatening cases where they can fly in and stabilise critically ill patients.

Emergency care

The scheme started with a group of doctors who were determined to bring critical emergency care to Argyll.

In June 2008 the Scottish Government funded an 18 month pilot programme covering the west coast.

Between 2008 and November 2009 over 300 patients were helped and at least 24 lives saved.

Following this success, it was announced in March 2010 that the service is to be rolled out across Scotland with the team doubling in size.


Ellen Brown, who lives on the island of Islay, was treated by the service after an insect bite inside her ear developed into septicaemia:

"These doctors saved my life. They told me later had it been a paramedic that had come he couldn't have done what they were able to do to me. So, they definitely saved my life, if it hadn't been for the helicopter that night I wouldn't be here to tell the story today."

BBC Scotland's Dougie Vipond investigates the success of the scheme on Landward on 30 April on BBC Two Scotland at 1900.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific