Work is set to get underway on a brand new £1.24-million helipad at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, UK, following the go-ahead from planners this week.
The HELP Appeal, a charity that raises funds for building hospital helipads, said the new raised pad will be situated close to the accident and emergency department, enabling paramedics to transfer critically ill patients using electric trolleys instead of needing a ground ambulance. Relocating the helipad from its current location on land adjacent to the staff car park will also help to ease traffic congestion, said the charity, as cars driving around the site will not be disrupted when air ambulance helicopters land and takes off. Additional car parking will also be created – both on land vacated by the current helipad, and underneath the new raised platform.
Work on the helipad is expected to be completed within 12 months.
Michelle McKay, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted that we’ve got the go ahead for a new helipad and we would like to thank the HELP Appeal which is enabling this work to be carried out. The plan has always been to relocate the helipad closer to A&E, meaning patients arriving by air ambulance can be transferred into the department as quickly and easily as possible to receive emergency treatment once they have landed on site.”
HELP Appeal chief executive, Robert Bertram visited the hospital this week to hand over a cheque for £625,000, which is the first of two instalments. He said: “Helipads save time and save lives. It’s as simple as that. After learning that the Worcestershire Royal Hospital could build a helipad closer to its emergency department – reducing the time it takes to transfer a critically ill patient to the specialist care they urgently need – we wanted to make it happen for them as quickly as possible, so we agreed to cover the entire cost.” He added: “It’s fantastic that they have been given permission to start on this essential build, which will make a huge difference to the lives of critically ill patients.”