Patients who become seriously ill with coronavirus from outlying areas will be airlifted to major city hospitals in adult sized incubators.

The Scottish Ambulance Service will have access to ‘epishuttle’ technology from Friday, which allows patients to be placed in a sealed unit, providing protection for both patients and staff in complex cases. 

To date, eight of the shuttles have been purchased, at a cost of £500,000, two of which have been received and are being tested for a go-live date on April 3. A further two will be received on April 17 and another four by mid-May.

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The Scottish Ambulance Service is working with Transport Scotland, Loganair and the RAF to increase the range of transport options available for COVID-19 transfers.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: "The fight against COVID-19 has required the NHS to think differently and to move at pace.

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“The introduction of epishuttles will increase the range of options available to us as a Service as we deal with COVID-19 cases, particularly for rural and island communities."

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman added: "The first batch of Epishuttles will be available from this Friday, with plans well underway to increase the number of these single patient isolation pods in the coming weeks."


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