After nearly seven months, Derriford Hospital is close to finishing the new helipad, which will be in operation by June, allowing a wider range of aircraft to land on site and being accessible 24 hours a day.
Currently the hospital does not have a recognised helipad and instead has a small grassed-over area adjacent to the Emergency Department, which has been used as a set-down area for air ambulances for some years.
This area is not a helipad; it is unsuitable for larger helicopters, such as those from the Military and Search and Rescue and larger helicopters have had to land at nearby Marjons, with patients then being transferred to hospital by land ambulance. The area also has no lighting and no flights, even from smaller helicopters, have been able to land at Derriford at night.
This will all change from June.
Julie Richards, Associate Director of Estates said: “I am delighted that we have made good progress on this important development and I would like to thank everyone that has contributed to making it happen. If we can stay on track we should complete our works at the end of May and be able to receive helicopters early in June.
“It has been really exciting to watch the Helipad take shape over the past few months and I would also like to say thank you to all of our patients, visitors and staff for their patience and for coping with any inconvenience that the works have caused.”
The helipad has been funded by the HELP Appeal (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads), which has contributed £850,000 alongside £900,000 capital funding from the hospital Trust.
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