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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Emergency flights

19 April 2010

Despite current no fly restrictions across the United Kingdom and large areas of Europe, with people unable to return to or fly out of Jersey, Health and Social Services (HSSD) are reassuring Islanders that should they need emergency medical care in the UK, every effort will be made to get them there.

Last week and over the weekend, emergency flights were successfully undertaken, and anyone who needed emergency medical treatment in the UK was able to receive it, using the Jersey Emergency Transfer Service (JETS), and other patients have since been flown to the UK for emergency treatment.

Co-operation between Southampton and Jersey hospitals in conjunction with Jersey Airport and Capital Aviation ensured safe passage for patients to Bournemouth Airport and then onto Southampton hospital.

Acting Chief Officer, Richard Jouault said “We would like to reassure everyone that if anyone needs emergency treatment in the UK, it will be provided for them, and we are constantly reviewing the situation. The hospital is used to arranging flights at short notice, and in difficult circumstances. We have dedicated staff working hard to ensure that business as usual regarding patients is maintained. We know how concerned people get about travelling for important treatment in the UK, and we will do all we can to ensure that patients are cared for, and catered for, while this disruption continues.”

Arrangements for travel are also being made for patients who would normally receive essential medical treatment in the UK, such as radiotherapy, which cannot be provided in the Island. A charter flight has already been provided for patients to share today.

The hospital has a dedicated in-flight co-ordinator who is working with the travel desk at the hospital to work out arrangements for patients who have been affected by the travel restrictions. Some patients have been able to travel on ferries, both to and from the UK.

Patients who do not need urgent medical treatment, but who would normally be sent to the UK, are being assessed on a clinical, case by case basis.

On Friday (16 April 2010), the flight used to transport a patient to the UK for medical treatment was then used again on the return trip to repatriate to Jersey several essential medical staff who were on duty at the weekend, who were stranded in the UK because their commercial flights were cancelled.

Paying tribute to staff at HSSD who have kept emergency flights going, as well as keeping patients informed, Health Minister Anne Pryke added "In these conditions, it is a testament to everyone involved that patients will still be able to receive urgent treatment in the UK, and things will run as normal. My staff are monitoring the situation very closely.”

“I would like to offer my thanks to everyone involved in this venture for all their hard work” added Deputy Pryke.

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