New LED helipad lighting, which was recently installed at the Dorset County Hospital and funded by UK charity the HELP Appeal, is proving to be an invaluable addition to air ambulances landing at the UK hospital during critical air rescue missions.
The HELP Appeal’s donation of £27,517.70 enabled Dorset County Hospital’s helipad perimeter lighting to be upgraded from the original white lights to modern, green LED lights – making the helipad significantly more visible, which is important in the event of low visibility conditions, such as landing at night.
Anthony Brewis, Estates Programme Manager at Dorset County Hospital, said: “The combination of improvements, particularly around lighting, will potentially minimise the landing times for the air ambulance – and other helicopters such as the Search and Rescue unit – to allow patients to be disembarked and moved into clinical areas faster.”
Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, Robert Bertram, paid a visit to the upgraded facility and was joined by members of the Emergency Department and the Estates Team at Dorset County Hospital, as well as the crew from the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and their helicopter Pegasus. He stated: “Patients can become seriously ill or injured at any time of the day or night. Dorset County Hospital helipad’s new, state-of-the-art lighting system reflects this by allowing air ambulances to land, even when it’s dark, so patients can get the urgent treatment they need at any time.”
Dr Ian Mew, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Critical Care Medicine, added that the helicopter often transferred patients requiring emergency intervention to tertiary hospitals – including Southampton, Bristol and Kings Hospital in London – and that the lights would ensure the safety of the helicopter emergency medical service crew, the patients and those around the helipad during the time-critical transfer of patients.
“The HELP Appeal has made this possible as the Trust’s demand for capital improvements far outweigh the supply of funding, and any money we would have spent on these improvements in future can now be assigned to improvements in other areas to benefit patients,” added Brewis.