ESSEX Air ambulance campaigns for new landing site for Basildon Hospital

ESSEX Air ambulance campaigns for new landing site for Basildon Hospital

28-Nov-2014 Source: ESSEX

The Essex Air Ambulance made a special landing today in the grounds of South Essex College Basildon Campus to raise awareness that the life-saving aircraft will be losing this landing site for the county’s Cardio Thoracic Centre at Basildon University Hospital which has been earmarked for development.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust with the support of MP Stephen Metcalfe, Basildon University Hospital and the local authorities is appealing to find a replacement landing site so that patients in need of heart surgery can be easily conveyed by Essex Air Ambulance with a secondary transfer by land to Basildon University Hospital; the region’s centre of excellence for cardiac care.
Cliff Gale, Operations Director at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said: “It is imperative that an alternative landing site is found that not only satisfies requirements today but also for the future. A number of sites have already been identified that are owned by the Essex County Council and we have now entered discussions with the Council to see if any of these are feasible. I am extremely grateful for the help and support of Stephen Metcalfe MP, and look forward to working with the local authorities to identify a replacement site.”

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “The Essex Air Ambulance offers a priceless service to the county of Essex and its residents, helping save hundreds of lives every year. Unlike NHS emergency services, it is a charity and reliant on donations to cover its costs. We are delighted to be working with the Trust to try and find a suitable new landing site near Basildon Hospital.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, adds: “It is vitally important that we support this fight to ensure that the life-saving work of the Air Ambulance is safeguarded for the future. I am very pleased to be lending my support to Essex Air Ambulance, and I call on all members of the community to rally around this crucial campaign and to help secure a suitable replacement site.”

The Essex Air Ambulance HEMS Team consisting of a highly experienced Pilot, Pre-hospital Care Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic are attending an increasing number of cardiac arrest patients due to the advanced equipment they carry on board such as an automatic chest compression device and QCPR kits enabling them to provide advanced level of cardiac care at the scene. One of the unique advantages of having a Doctor on board is the important decision to triage patients to the most appropriate hospital if they require specialist care. This saves vital minutes between onset of illness to the patient receiving specialist medical care in hospital. Therefore it is paramount that in the case of cardiac arrests and other heart problems; there is a dedicated landing site allowing these patients the best chance of survival.

Zoe Smith, Director of Estates and Capital Development at Basildon University Hospital, said: “The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon University Hospital provides world-class, highly specialised care and treatment for heart and lung patients from all over Essex and beyond. The Essex Air Ambulance service plays a vital role in helping to ensure the best outcomes for patients. We are working closely with them and the local authority to find a suitable new landing site and are very hopeful we can achieve this.”

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