RAF Chinook tests patient transfer plans in Newport park

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Chinook helicopter at Seaclose Park in NewportImage source, iSle of Wight Council
Image caption,
The Chinook landed in Seaclose Park for about 10 minutes

An RAF Chinook helicopter has landed in a public park as part of a medical exercise on the Isle of Wight.

The CH47 aircraft landed at Seaclose Park near Newport at about 14:00 BST to test plans for transferring patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The operation was to rehearse measures by the military to support the island's NHS during the outbreak.

No patients were involved in the brief exercise, which took place while the park remained open.

Coastguards secured the site for the helicopter to land before ambulance crews and military personnel practiced the transfer.

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: "Seaclose has for a long time been a part of our plans for patient transfer, and the ambulance service is trained and experienced in working alongside helicopter crews.

"We wanted to take the opportunity to test these processes in the light of the current pandemic although, of course, I hope we will not be called upon to use them."

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