1. ITV Report

Aurigny withdraw Medevac service out of hours

For decades Aurigny has flown seriously ill people from Alderney to Guernsey Hospital

Local airline Aurigny has had to withdraw its life-saving Medevac service from Alderney outside of normal hours.

They are unable to fly seriously ill passengers from Alderney to hospital in Guernsey when the airport is closed, because of staff shortages.

For decades they have provided the service, but now it can't guarantee it will be available between 7pm and 7am.

States member Steve Roberts worked for the airline and has witnessed many evacuations "in the dead of night".

Mr Roberts has now written to Guernsey's most senior politician, calling the situation disgraceful.

The States say they are working with Aurigny to resolve the "temporary man power issue".

The airline say they will do everything they can to secure crew out of hours, and the following contingency services have been put in place:

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

The following statements have been issued:

We do have some staffing issues at the moment, primarily due to recruitment difficulties, but also sickness and pilot training, and we are actively trying to address these.

It should be stressed that the vast majority of the medevacs take place during normal operating hours and our ability to provide cover during these times is unchanged.

As the States release pointed out there were 66 medevacs from Alderney in 2016, with only five of those being out of hours transfers. We will continue to do our best to provide the out of hours cover.

There has never been a formal agreement to provide medevacs and there is still not one in place, but it is a service Aurigny has always been happy to provide and this has position not changed.

– Aurigny spokesperson

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.

– Deputy Al Brouard, Chairman of Alderney Liaison Group

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 permanent 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.

– States of Guernsey