With over 500 flights landing there already each year, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness is about to undergo an upgrade that will allow the helipad to meet the increasing demands of larger and more frequent aircraft use as well as new standards such as landing lights.
At a cost of just under £600,000 this upgrade is available thanks to two charitable donations. A financial grant of £480,000 has been offered to NHS Highland from the HELP Appeal – the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads.
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal said: “The upgrade of Raigmore Hospital’s helipad is now our seventh project in Scotland, with hospital helipads in Glasgow, Edinburgh and four Highland and Island helipads under the charity’s belt. The HELP Appeal is committed to ensuring that this helipad is fit for purpose, so patients can land safely and quickly, to access the emergency care they urgently need. This is why there was no hesitation in completing the funding required for this much needed upgrade.”
Dr Andrew Rowlands, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical lead for the Emergency Department, explained that the helicopter is an essential feature for Raigmore and NHS Highland and the investment into upgrading the helipad will benefit the entire population. He said: “The helipad at Raigmore Hospital serves as an essential time and life saving facility on which the entire population of the Highlands and Islands may depend, not only due to the enormous area served by NHS Highland but also the distance covered and the remote locations.”
The work is expected to be completed by November 2018.