Please see the following pdf documents which detail my response to the allegations made by the Sark Newsletter, an explanation of emergency medical evacuation decision making from the doctor’s perspective, an explanation of the reasons for the regulation of health professionals legislation and an explanation of why I have decided to tender my resignation from my job as the Sark Doctor.
medical evacuation from Sark – my response
appendix 1 – Sark Helicopter Medical Evacuation Procedure September 2011
appendix 2 – letter from Dr Anthony Beaumont, Consultant Anaesthetist
I am extremely grateful to all those people who have expressed their support for me and my family. It is much appreciated. Thank you.
A new Sark Surgery website will soon be available at www.medical.sark.gg
Thank you for your patience whilst the adjustments are completed.
The surgery will be open on Saturday 2nd June for morning surgery and closed on Sunday 3rd June as usual.
Bank Holiday Monday 4th June – CLOSED
Bank Holiday Tuesday 5th June – CLOSED
Wednesday 6th June – OPEN for normal morning surgery
The doctor will remain on call at all times for emergencies only. In the event of a medical emergency call 07781 100815
Over the last few days there have bee reports of increasing numbers of children and adults affected by a vomiting and diarrhoea illness. The vast majority of people affected by this illness have not required medical attention as the symptoms have not been severe and have resolved over 18 – 36 hours. However, as with many infectious diseases, people who are already unwell with chronic illness, those who are very old or very young are at increased risk of complications such as dehydration.
If you have developed these symptoms in the last 2 weeks or are currently experiencing them, please let the surgery know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The most important action to take if you or your child develop vomiting or diarrhoea is to drink plenty of clear fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, paracetamol may be used but please avoid any other painkillers as they may make the symptoms worse. If you feel your symptoms or those of your child are worsening, please contact the surgery to arrange advice or a visit from the doctor in the usual way.
You can find more information about this illness for adults here and for children here.
Please be advised that children and adults who experience these symptoms should remain off work/school/playschool for at least 48 hours after the end of the symptoms. Those working in caring roles or food preparation should extend this to 72 hours. Hand washing, antibacterial cleansing of surfaces and using separate toilet facilities for those affected are all important in limiting the spread of these illnesses.
Thank you for taking the time to read this notice.
I wholly refute the allegations and accusations made about me in the Sark Newsletter. I will be issuing a full statement in due course, setting out my reasons for leaving Sark.
Thank you to all those people who have continued to support me, your help is much appreciated.
The Surgery will be open as follows over the Christmas Period.
Christmas Eve Normal morning surgery only
Christmas Day Surgery Closed
Boxing Day Surgery Closed
Tuesday 27th Bank Holiday – Surgery Closed
Wednesday 28th Normal morning surgery
Thursday 29th Normal morning and afternoon surgeries
Friday 30th Normal morning and afternoon surgeries
New Year’s Eve Normal morning surgery only
New Year’s Day Surgery Closed
Monday 2nd Bank Holiday – Surgery closed
Tuesday 3rd Normal morning and afternoon surgeries
Out of hours service continues as normal. Call 07781 100 815 for emergencies only.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our patients from Peter, Fiona and Shannon.
Immunisation for ‘flu is now available at the Sark Medical Centre. This year the injection contains the three strains of the virus that are most likley to cause influenza on Sark this season.We are contacting those who have had the immunisation here in previous years who are automatically offered the same again. The immunisation is given in a ‘flu clinic and the charge is £20, £10 of which goes to the Professor Saint Fund.
If you have not had the immunisation here previously and you are in an ‘at risk group’ or you would like to be added to the list for any other reason please contact us at the surgery.
For information on who should have this vaccine and to find out more about this serious but preventable disease please see the NHS website here.
Dr Peter Counsell
There have been several cases of suspected chicken pox affecting children on Sark in the last week. It is a common childhood infection which is usually self-limiting. This viral infection causes a raised red rash often preceded by a fever, aching and headache. Dry cough and sore throat are also common.
Chicken pox is very infectious and it takes 11-20 days to develop symptoms after exposure. A person who has chicken pox is infectious from 2 days prior to the rash appearing until all the spots have crusted over (usually 5-6 days later). Children should remain off school and playschool until this time. Treatment for children is supportive with paracetamol if needed for pain or fever and calamine lotion for itching (available from shops on Sark). If you or your child are becoming unwell with this illness, please contact the doctor.
If you or your child think you may have developed chicken pox, please let us know at the surgery. The disease is less common in adults but because the symptoms are often more severe it is best to be seen by the doctor within 24 hours of the rash appearing as antiviral treatment may be needed. For more information about this disease please visit here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information.
Dr Peter Counsell
The newly renovated Marine Ambulance – Flying Christine III – is now back in service after upgrades to its two engines in England. It is now even faster than before, with a top speed of 27 knots.
Emergency care on Sark is always a team effort. Every year residents and visitors to Sark call for help when they develop acute illness or injury and the response involves many different people. I am assisted by residents locally trained in First Aid, the Sark Ambulance Service and the Sark Fire and Rescue Service who are available 24/7 all year round. We provide care and treatment to the casualty as soon as we arrive at the scene. The patient’s ongoing care is then transferred to St John Ambulance and Rescue. They are always available to help with any emergency and provide an excellent service not only through the use of the recently renovated Flying Christine III but more importantly by using highly trained personnel who are able to safely manage any medical emergency that may occur.
We also rely upon and are grateful for the provision of alternative forms of transport when the Flying Christine cannot be used. These include the Lifeboat, the Access Challenger and the Brecqhou Lass and Chief. The option of helicopter evacuation from Sark is always considered as part of the emergency response, depending on its availability and the nature of the casualty’s illness. For more information on the medical response process in place since June 2008 please see this document (pdf).
St John have started a new subscription scheme which all residents are invited to support. Single subscription costs £88 per year and £132 for a family. Those who subscribe will not be charged should they require the Marine Ambulance or any vessel acting in its place. The subscription also covers use of the road ambulance on Guernsey. There will be a charge of £300 for non-subscribers for the use of the Marine Ambulance when called to Sark.
The true cost of providing this service is far higher than these charges (approximately £2000 per visit) and is supported entirely by public donation. You can download an application form here or collect one from the Sark Medical Centre or contact St. John Ambulance and Rescue directly on 01481 723 866 for more information.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this information.
Dr Peter Counsell
as many of you will already be aware, there have been many more cases of measles than usual in Europe over the last few months. If your children have not been vaccinated or you are not sure whether they need further vaccination, please contact the surgery. You can find more information about this serious but preventable disease here.
Please note that there has been found to be NO link between the MMR immunisation and the development of autism in children.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Dr P Counsell