NHS organisations have received a welcome boost, with the recent investment of more than £1m in hospital helicopter landing pads.
The HELP Appeal, a charity created 10 years ago to significantly increase the number of onsite NHS hospital helipads at major trauma centres and A&E units; has made two donations to expand and launch new facilities at trusts across the country.
It donated £1.36m to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust towards a new £3.9m helipad serving Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and Saint Mary’s Hospital.
The rooftop landing site, on the roof of Grafton Street Car Park in Oxford Road, is expected to see an estimated 312 patients airlifted to the site each year.
Alistair Rennie, consultant in emergency medicine and major trauma at the MRI, and group clinical lead for emergency planning at the trust, said; “This helipad means that air ambulances, which currently land on a nearby field, will be able to land directly at the site.
“This is crucial, as the first 60 minutes following a major trauma injury is known as the ‘Golden Hour’, and treatment within this time can mean the difference between life and death.
“The helipad will ensure both adults and children with major trauma reach their respective receiving teams without delay.”
The site will also be only one of five across the entire country to have a Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS), technology which can extinguish a fire in around 15 seconds, protecting the helipad and hospital infrastructure.
In recent weeks the HELP Appeal has also pledged £250,000 to London’s Air Ambulance Charity to help redevelop its base at the Royal London Hospital.
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the charity, said: “After visiting London’s Air Ambulance’s helipad base, it was clear that improvements were urgently needed to provide far-better and more-suitable facilities for the doctors, paramedics and pilots who are involved in highly-stressful situations on a daily basis.
“We are proud that we are able to help them create a state-of-the-art facility that will also enable crews to reach critically-ill patients even more quickly, helping to save more lives.”