It certainly seems as though the HELP Appeal’s generosity knows no bounds; having now funded 36 hospital helipads around the UK since its establishment 10 years ago, its latest £1 million of funding is well on its way to refurbishing the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s (RD&E) old helipad.
The money will be used to integrate special lighting into the RD&E’s helipad, a feature which is integral to guiding air ambulances to land during nighttime operations. In addition, an extension of the helipad is planned, which will allow larger helicopters to land in the daytime. The updates will improve patient transport capabilities and emergency care access to the local communities.
Em Wilkinson-Brice, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nurse at the RD&E, commented: “We are extremely grateful to the HELP Appeal for its significant donation to upgrade our helipad. This upgrade will make a huge difference to our local population and patients at the RD&E.”
The UK charity’s second installment of £250,000 was presented to the hospital on Wednesday 25 September by Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal. He said: “As the days become shorter, lighting on the helipad cannot come soon enough. It’s great that during the darkest days of winter, the helipad will be up and running to allow air ambulances with seriously ill patients to land anytime of the day and night, enabling them to have immediate access to consultant care. Now that the hospital can truly accommodate a 24/7 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, more lives will be saved.”
In other news, the County Air Ambulance Trust, which created the HELP Appeal as means of providing support to the UK HEMS industry through funding air ambulance helipad costs, has appointed The Hon. Arthur Vestey as a Trustee to its board.
Michael Henriques, Chairman of the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal, commented: “As our charity and the number of projects grow, Arthur’s extensive experience in the finance sector will be invaluable. His passion for our mission will also ensure that many more people across the country will become aware of the importance of the HELP Appeal’s work, which helps to save time and save lives.”
With 40 more helipads planned for hospitals around the UK, amounting to a total of £71 million in funding, Vestey’s appointment comes at an important time for the charity.
“I am delighted to have become a Trustee of such a wonderful charity as the HELP Appeal,” said Vestey. “Each new helipad is able to save precious minutes for many thousands of patients. I look forward to working with the HELP Appeal as they continue with their vital mission throughout the country.”