Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron is urging NHS Highland and the Scottish Government to respond to calls for a purpose-built helipad to be constructed adjacent to Campbeltown hospital.
Mr Cameron has written to Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, and NHS Highland Chief Executive, Iain Stewart, urging them to fast-forward a proposal to upgrade a water-logged playing field adjacent to the hospital so that it can safely host helicopters.
Mr Cameron said: “I was contacted by a concerned member of the public, Stuart McLellan, who has consulted many of the relevant agencies, including Argyll and Bute Council which owns the land but is happy to make it available, the Civil Aviation Authority which has given the proposal the green light, and local health practitioners who are very keen to see progress.
“And no wonder: presently, the air ambulance has to land some 20 minutes away from the hospital. If we can cut the delay in getting emergency cases to hospital I firmly believe we could save lives.
“I was therefore very surprised to learn that despite the widespread support for the proposal, and the prospect of financial support from a third party, NHS Highland appears to be very slow in moving the project forward. I want to get to the bottom of this and am asking for an explanation from the very top."
Mr McLellan, who has relatives living near the hospital, said: “I am very grateful to Donald for intervening and I hope he is successful in injecting a bit of urgency into NHS Highland.
“This is a golden ticket on a plate offer that NHS Highland are about to throw away and lose if they don’t get a move on.”