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Savings will be made as Islands sign joint air ambulance contract

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Monday 08 July 2013

Guernsey and Jersey are to have a joint air ambulance facility following the signing of a shared contract today.

The Health and Social Services departments in both Islands have agreed a joint approach for the service to fly critically ill patients to the UK for treatment, culminating in today's signing of the contract. The move will improve the service, save money and ensures continuity for the essential flights for at least three years.

Although Guernsey and Jersey will use separate planes to provide the emergency air transfers, it is estimated that the joint saving will be in the region of £245,000 per annum, between the Islands, with £200,000 being saved by Guernsey, and £45,000 by Jersey. The new contract is worth approximately £1 million per annum for Jersey, and £500,000 a year for Guernsey.

The service to both islands will be provided by Capital Air Charter and was awarded following a detailed, competitive tendering process. Capital already holds the contract in Jersey, but will be a new provider for Guernsey for this service.

Lisa Humphries from Capital Air Charter said:

"We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract and our entire team looks forward to working with Guernsey and Jersey to implement a safe, fast, efficient, cost-effective and flexible patient air transfer service, unrivalled in the British Isles."

Under the joint contract, each Island will have a separate service level agreement with Capital, which acknowledges the differences of the health systems between the two Islands, to allow for flexibility.

The dedicated plane for Guernsey is based in Exeter and will travel to the island with a team from the UK in the case of emergency.

Jersey's Air Ambulance will continue to be stationed at Aviation Beauport, adjacent to Jersey Airport. There will also be a shared plane for both Islands to use, also based in Exeter, as well as a further aircraft which, although shared with other services, could be brought in as additional back-up if needed.

In 2012, Guernsey transferred 174 patients while Jersey carried out a total of 346 emergency air transfers to the UK.

Guernsey's Social Security Minister Deputy Allister Langlois said:

"This service funded by the Social Security Department in Guernsey is evidence that working together between both islands produces good services and real value for money."

Guernsey's Minister for Health and Social Services Deputy Mark Dorey said:

"We are very pleased with the positive results that have been achieved by the co-operation of staff, clinicians and health partners of Guernsey and Jersey. This collaboration gives both islands a solid foundation to build our ongoing relationships for the benefits of patients and islanders. Our thanks also go to all the companies who participated in the tender process."

Commenting on the joint contract, Minister for Health and Social Services in Jersey, Deputy Anne Pryke, said:

"This joint contract represents a great deal of hard work done by officers and clinical staff in both Islands, and we are very pleased to be able to offer joint working with Guernsey, which is often talked about, and something we aspire to.

"Our two health systems are very different, but this does not mean we can't have a joined-up, professional approach to an essential service. This is an example of good procurement which means that these services can be maintained, while financial savings are made. I am delighted that the contract has now been signed."

-ENDS-

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