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  • States of Guernsey and Aurigny working to resolve Alderney medevac issues

    Friday 09 June 2017

    Press Release from the States of Guernsey

    The States of Guernsey is working with Aurigny to resolve temporary manpower issues that are causing uncertainty over Alderney's medevac service.

    Currently, Aurigny is not at full crew capacity for the service, leaving it unable to provide the agreed level of cover out of hours (when the airports are closed). There were 66 medevacs from Alderney in 2016, with five of those being out of hours transfers.

    Steps are being taken to resolve the temporary staffing issues and, while Aurigny will wherever possible continue to secure crew for out of hours emergency medevacs during this temporary period, additional contingencies have also been put in place.

    Contingencies in the event Aurigny is unable to secure crew for an out of hours medevac include:

    • Flying Christine (undergoing maintenance until mid-June)
    • RNLI
    • UK Coastguard
    • French authorities
    • Private charter

    The Joint Emergency Services Control Centre would be utilised to coordinate should a contingency option be required.

    Deputy Al Brouard, Chairman of the Alderney Liaison Group, said:

    'Until recently Aurigny has utilised eight sets of crews to cover the Alderney route including the medevac service. Previously, by demonstrating the infrequency of out of hours medevac call-outs, Aurigny had negotiated an agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority allowing crews finishing their shift at 6.30pm to be put on standby between 8pm and 5am to ensure cover in case of an emergency call-out. However,

    following a review of crew fatigue arrangements the CAA recently withdrew this concession.

    'Unfortunately, it emerged this week that a range of staffing issues, including recruitment, sickness and pilot training, has led to insufficient crew numbers to provide the agreed level of out of hours cover.

    'The States of Guernsey has worked with Aurigny to try and find a successful solution to these temporary staffing issues, and conversations will take place with Alderney imminently - as soon as permanents arrangements are confirmed - regarding a revised long-term model going forward. This is a transferred service and we take our responsibility to the people of Alderney very seriously.

    'During this difficult period Aurigny has committed on a best endeavours basis to secure crew out of hours where the medical condition has been deemed as level 1 or level 2, which are serious emergencies. As such Aurigny will continue to be the first port of call for out of hours transfers during June for patients in critical need of medical support. Should this be needed, such action may have a knock-on effect on the next day's scheduled Alderney-Guernsey service. But this issue must clearly be the priority and we apologise in advance for any disruption should it occur.

    'However, in the event that Aurigny is unable to secure a crew during such a medical emergency, the States of Guernsey has agreed contingencies with other authorities that could be called on to ensure the necessary patient transfer takes place. While not ideal, I hope Alderney residents take some comfort in this and the knowledge that these issues are temporary, whilst a long-term solution to earlier concerns is being addressed as a priority.'

    Ends

    Notes to Media

    Issued by: Joel de Woolfson

    Contact: 07839 700635 Email: Joel.dewoolfson@gov.gg

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