Glasgow & West Scotland

Doctors' BBQ at hospital in Oban forces air ambulance to be diverted

A helicopter carrying a patient to hospital in Argyll had to be diverted because smoke from a doctors' barbecue was blowing across the landing pad.

The incident took place as the patient was being taken to Lorn and Islands Hospital, Oban, at 21:00 on Thursday.

NHS Highland said the helicopter was diverted to Oban airport seven miles away and the patient was driven back.

The health board also confirmed that a patient waiting to be picked up had to be taken to the airport.

A spokesman for NHS Highland said: "An air ambulance helicopter on a routine non-emergency medical transfer from Mull was unable to land at Lorn and Islands Hospital due to a potential hazard near the helipad.

"The helicopter flew to nearby Oban Airport where it was already scheduled to take a planned re-fuelling.

"This patient was transferred the short distance to the hospital by road ambulance."

'Potential hazards'

The spokesman said a small number of off-duty junior doctors had been having a barbecue outside their accommodation.

"Their accommodation is about 50 yards from the landing pad. Clearly staff were not aware that this would cause a problem," he said.

"Local managers have spoken to staff to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"More generally we will clarify with Scottish Ambulance about what they consider to be potential hazards.

"Any necessary steps will be taken to make sure this does not happen in the future. While this is very unfortunate, it is not a disciplinary matter."

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