Gama Aviation adds details on retaining Scottish Air Ambulance contract

Gama Aviation adds details on retaining Scottish Air Ambulance contract

14-Jun-2012 Source: Gama Aviation

Gama Aviation Limited (Gama), part of the global Gama Group, announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has selected Gama to be its dedicated provider of Air Ambulance services for a further 7 years (2013 – 2020).

Gama’s long association with the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland which commenced in 1993 was today furthered with the announcement that it will continue to provide an integrated Air Ambulance Service to the people of Scotland into the next decade.

The new service incorporates a number of new features alongside the core aircraft provision of two Beechcraft King Air 200C fixed wing turboprop aircraft based at Aberdeen and Glasgow airports respectively along with two dedicated Eurocopter EC135T2 helicopters based at Glasgow and Inverness.  The EC135 Helicopters are to be replaced by two new made-to-order EC145T2 helicopters when the new aircraft are available in 2014 allowing clinicians more room to treat patients in flight whilst also giving improved range.  In addition these aircraft will be complemented where required by Eurocopter Super Puma helicopters based in both Shetland and Aberdeen.

Alongside this the deployment of trained aviation specialists employed by Gama to work directly alongside NHS Scotland personnel within the West of Scotland Ambulance Control Centre in Cardonald will assist in enhancing communications and further improve the aircraft tasking process.

The core aircraft will provide dedicated air ambulance cabin interiors designed in conjunction with Scottish Ambulance Service personnel and incorporating the latest medical stretcher and patient loading systems along with a number of new technological enhancements.  The rotary-wing aircraft will be operated under a subcontract by Bond Air Services Ltd (Bond) further extending Gama and Bond’s longstanding and close working relationship.

The air ambulance service is an essential component of the provision of healthcare in Scotland.  These specially equipped aircraft together with the highly trained medical and flight crews provide round-the-clock cover for routine and urgent patient transfer.

“We are extremely proud our long and successful association with the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland and we are excited by the prospect of taking this into a 3rd decade through the award of this contract” said Marwan Khalek, CEO of Gama Group.

“In formulating our bid, our focus was to ensure that we deliver a service that is safe, reliable and efficient yet responsive and adaptable to the changing health care needs and demand and to do so in a cost effective way so as to deliver value for money.

This is a critical service to the delivery of health care in Scotland and we don’t underestimate the enormous responsibility that we take on with this contract award but we are not burdened by it.  We are confident that we have the best and most experienced team in place and we have the right equipment, infrastructure and knowhow to help us discharge this important responsibility.

We will continue to work tirelessly and diligently to meet and exceed the expectation placed upon us and we will do all we can to support the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland in delivering a world class air ambulance service to the people of Scotland”.

Chris Greenhill, Managing Director of Bond Air Services commented “We are delighted to be extending our association with both Gama and the Scottish Ambulance Service.  The joint experience and expertise we have in providing air ambulance services in one of the most challenging flying environments in the world is something that we are extremely proud of”.

This contract award follows a detailed and extensive re-procurement process by the Scottish Ambulance Service which commenced in 2009.  During the bid process the Gama team undertook a full and far-reaching review of service design in order to provide a robust yet flexible service that allows development and innovation as required during the contract term utilising the combined team’s wide knowledge of operating air ambulance services in Scotland in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Ed: A further release came in from Bond quoting a seven year contract figure of UK£34.0 million against £24.6 for the previous seven years of EC135 operations.

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