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Air ambulance aborts landing because of doctors' BBQ near helipad

The incident occurred at Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, Argyll.

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© STV

An air ambulance was forced to abort landing at a hospital with a patient because doctors were having a barbecue near the helipad.

The incident occurred at Lorn and Islands District General Hospital, in Oban, Argyll, last Thursday night.

Pilots flying the helicopter judged the barbecue by off-duty junior doctors around 50 yards from the helipad to be a "potential hazard" and instead flew to Oban Airport where they were scheduled to refuel.

The patient was then transferred from the airport to the hospital by road ambulance.

NHS Highland said that steps had been taken to ensure such an incident does not occur again.

A health spokesman stated: "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. This happened at about 9pm on Thursday evening.

"The helicopter flew to nearby Oban Airport where it was already scheduled to take a planned refuelling. This patient was transferred the short distance to the hospital by road ambulance.

"The potential hazard was about a small number of junior doctors, who were off duty, having a BBQ outside their accommodation. Their accommodation is about 50 yards from the landing pad. Clearly staff were not aware that this would cause a problem.

"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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