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The Future Flight Standards Hub is designed to accelerate the development of Future Flight demonstrators and wider industry innovation based on emerging best practice, knowledge sharing, and standards support.

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Consortium Mission

The project will use drones to shuttle pathology samples between three hospitals in north-west England. These solar powered drones will deliver better healthcare to the Morecambe Bay community by speeding up the processing times of samples and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Consortium Details

The vision for the Morecambe Bay Medical Shuttle project is to demonstrate how, through new forms of transportation, the pathology services of three hospitals may be optimised.

We aim to fly Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) as a shuttle between Lancaster Royal Infirmary, Furness General Hospital and Westmoreland General, delivering pathology samples between the hospitals, to speed up their processing and to provide better healthcare to the Morecambe Bay community that the hospitals service.

The project is split into two phases:

  • Firstly we look to fly the RPAS solution between the three hospitals in segregated airspace. This is airspace that has been allocated to us by the CAA and marked as a Temporary Danger Area. This allows the RPAS to operate safely without any other airspace users being in the area at the time. We are already six months through the Airspace Change Process with the CAA, such that we have the paperwork in place prior to the projects commencement. The Temporary Danger Area can only exist for 90 days and as such our flight campaign will be limited to this 90 day window. At the end of the ninety days we expect to have gathered enough evidence to inform NHS England, through the Chief Sustainability Officer's office, with regards the performance improvement of the service and the NetZero contributions that RPAS operations across the Morecambe Bay geography may yield.
     
  • Secondly we look to extend the MBMS RPAS network to link up with the other three NHS trust's within the Lancashire and South Cumbria Pathology Partnership (North 3) network. This is one of 29 new NHS England Pathology networks, and will be the first network to utilise RPAS solutions across the geography of the network. A second Temporary Danger Area network will be established and RPAS will be flown under the auspices of the North 3 network management. Looking to deliver processing time optimisations for the entire North 3 pathology network, the initial phase 1 results will be tested in a much larger network environment. At the end of this second phase of works the effects of scaling up are again reported to NHS England who are then able to look at cost savings on a national scale.

MBMS aligns the ambitions of the Future Flight Challenge with the ambitions of NHS England & NHS Improvement with regards NetZero and creating the pathology networks of the future.

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