Medical Delivery

Scotland: Enabling faster COVID testing for isolated Scottish communities

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19 km

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15 mins

average flight time

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0.1 kg

average payload

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Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Many of the islands along the coast of Western Scotland are heavily reliant on ferry connections. In many places though, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen ferry timetables disrupted or cancelled - at a time when certain medical supplies such as COVID-19 testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are needed more urgently than ever.

The remote island of Pentecost is one of 83 islands in the South Pacific that make up the nation of Vanuatu. The 60 km long island is made up predominantly of mountainous terrain covered in dense jungle. In many cases, the islanders don’t have access to roads, electricity or permanent healthcare facilities.

Providing access to vaccines in the most remote communities involves nurses travelling from health centers, sometimes having to hike for several hours or days, or travel by boat around the island. Even short distances can take long and costly hours in which the heat-sensitive medical supplies are exposed to the tropical heat and arduous travel conditions.

Many of the islands along the coast of Western Scotland are heavily reliant on ferry connections. In many places though, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen ferry timetables disrupted or cancelled - at a time when certain medical supplies such as COVID-19 testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are needed more urgently than ever.

Solution

Solution

Solution

Together with Skyports and on behalf of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) – the integrated partnership of NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council – we conducted a successful trial to help ensure that isolated communities have access to tests, delivered in a fast and efficient way by Wingcopter.

Based at Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, the trial consisted of two-way BVLOS flights between the hospital and Mull and Iona Community Hospital in Craignure 10 miles (16 km) away on the Isle of Mull.

Together with Skyports [Verlinkung zu skyports.net] and on behalf of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) – the integrated partnership of NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council – we conducted a successful trial to help ensure that isolated communities have access to tests, delivered in a fast and efficient way by Wingcopter.


Based at Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, the trial consisted of two-way BVLOS flights between the hospital and Mull and Iona Community Hospital in Craignure 10 miles (16 km) away on the Isle of Mull.

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Outcome

Outcome

Outcome

The trial saw delivery times cut from up to 6 hours one-way by ground transport and ferry to around 15 minutes, on-demand, by Wingcopter, resulting in considerable savings in terms of both time and resources, as well as contributing to keeping front line medical and delivery personnel safe.

The trial saw delivery times cut from up to 6 hours one-way by ground transport and ferry to around 15 minutes, on-demand, by Wingcopter, resulting in considerable savings in terms of both time and resources, as well as contributing to keeping front line medical and delivery personnel safe.

  

„The use of drones provides real opportunities to improve services and will help enable quicker diagnosis for our patients.“

Joanna Macdonald Chief Officer for Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership

Impressions

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All photos © Skyports

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