DRONES could help deliver life-saving medicines across the Solent as part of a vision to deliver supplies to people in Southampton

Nesta has outlined its plan to use the technology as a UK-wide push to save lives. 

This roll-out in Southampton would see essential medical deliveries sent across the Solent to the Isle of Wight using the drone.

In June, civic chiefs, scientists, aviation experts and government officials teamed up for the start of a £600,000 project to explore how the devices can be used to provide public services in built-up areas 
by trialling it in Mayflower Park.

Named the ‘Flying High Challenge’, the scheme could now be rolled out.

In Nesta’s report, Tris Dyson, executive director, said: “There is a moment in time where a new technology is in its infancy, where the opportunity exists to shape how it evolves and impacts our lives.

“A moment when we can choose for it to be largely beneficial and driven by the needs of those it will affect.

“This is also a moment where a country can position itself to take the lead in its development and reap the associated economic benefits.”

Mr Dyson believes using the drones would bypass a slow and expensive ferry service, it would fulfil a clear need for ad-hoc deliveries and be financially and technically feasible.

He said it would save time, money and provide medical products and tests to patients more quickly.

A drone would carry blood in batches of up to 10 units between the two hospitals.

Chris Meayers-Norkett, head of supply chain at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, which has been involved with the Flying High project, said: “We are always keen to explore ways we can use innovations and technology to improve efficiencies in our services and how we link with our partner organisations.

“This is an exciting project which will trial how effective the use of drones could be in improving way medical supplies are transported to the Isle of Wight.”