The regional trauma centre receives patients from across Cheshire and Merseyside who need urgent specialist care which isn’t necessarily available in their local hospital. The helipad, which became operational on 3 July, has been built to save vital minutes when transferring trauma patients from air ambulances into the hospital, which is part of the regional major trauma centre together with neurological specialists at the Walton Centre. Until now, aircraft had to land on playing fields and patients were transferred by ground ambulance, a journey of up to half an hour.
Heather Arrowsmith, chief executive at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, said: “During a serious medical emergency, every second counts. Helipads ensure our skilled crew can get patients to the best treatment centre quickly, which ultimately improves chances of survival and reduces the risk of long-term injury. This test flight is an important step in ensuring that the entire process is as safe and efficient as possible. It’s just the start of what will be an extremely beneficial addition to the emergency service network in the North West.”
Robert Bertram, CEO of the HELP Appeal, added: “Everyone is aware of the vital roles that hospitals and air ambulances play in treating a critically ill patient, but having a helipad beside the emergency department can play a significant part in saving vital minutes when transporting a patient to the expert care they need to save their lives. This is why we felt compelled to get involved and cover the £1 million cost of Aintree University Hospital’s helipad. We knew the difference having it onsite would make.” He continued: “With the support of the air ambulances and the excellent emergency care team at Aintree, this incredible team of helicopters, a helipad and hospital doctors will make a huge difference to those people who are travelling through or residing in Cheshire and Merseyside, who may urgently need a blood transfusion, CT scan or any other life-saving treatment after suffering a critical injury.”