14-May-2014 Source: Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
The new £3 million helideck at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) was used for the first time on Friday 9 May by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance just two days after its official opening.
Air ambulances across the region have spent the last few weeks undergoing orientation test flights for the new helideck which is located 220 feet above ground on the roof of BRI and last Friday saw the first patient experience its benefit.
The patient, an adult male who had undergone previous cardiac treatment at BRI was airlifted from Pylle near Shepton Mallet at 2 pm. He arrived on the 25m square helideck just ten minutes later.
A grant of £500,000 from the HELP Appeal supported the helideck’s construction as part of a major redevelopment at the BRI. It connects directly to services within the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as well as the adult Emergency Department at Bristol Royal Infirmary. The Bristol Heart Institute will also receive patients transferred by helicopter for cardiac treatment.
Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “The importance of helipads at Major Trauma Centres is paramount in ensuring that patients get to the right place for the best treatment first time! The fact that the helideck at BRI was used so quickly after its launch and potentially has already made a difference to someone’s life means it’s an invaluable asset.
“The development of helipads and suitable landing facilities is a key issue for the Association of Air Ambulances that we support strongly.”