A new, lifesaving helipad is now open at Scarborough Hospital that will enable seriously ill and injured patients to have immediate access to the Emergency Department after landing by helicopter.
Thanks to a £500,000 donation by the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads, work began in December on the new 31 square metre helipad, destined to help to save the lives of people living, working and visiting in the region.
The new larger helipad means that as well as landing the air ambulance, the much larger search and rescue helicopter will also be able to land near the hospital, making a huge difference for incidents out to sea.
By significantly reducing transfer times, patients with serious injuries, such as those caused by road accidents can be transported by air from rural locations.
State of the art lighting will be installed to enable landings during darkness hours, meaning that patients can be taken by air to Scarborough Hospital 24 hours a day for the first time. Patients at risk can also be swiftly transported to major centres of clinical expertise for specialist treatment.
The helipad has been relocated to free up space for the much-anticipated new Urgent and Emergency Care and Critical Care Departments at Scarborough Hospital.
Simon Morritt, Chief Executive, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Thank you to the HELP Appeal for this generous donation – without doubt we could not have achieved this without their help.As a coastal town Scarborough faces unique challenges with its rural location and the sea on one side.The new helipad will make an enormous difference at Scarborough Hospital and will benefit residents and the countless visitors to the town for many years to come.”
The hospital’s Deputy Medical Director, Ed Smith, said: “It is really going to transform our ability to manage transport in and out by air. “It gives us the ability to receive all types of helicopters and enables 24/7 access and night landings that we didn’t have before. It is clinically critical we have this access for patients and it enables us to bring patients from all over the region for emergency medical care.”
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “It is always great to see our projects coming together. Many people may just see a piece of concrete, but helipads are lifesavers in their own right and just as important as hospitals and air ambulances in giving a patient the best possible chance. We are delighted that construction has run smoothly and the helipad is up and running and saving lives.”
Abby Barmby, Director of Marketing & Communications for Yorkshire Air Ambulance said: “We were absolutely delighted to attend the official opening of the new Scarborough Hospital Helipad today, even if our helicopter was unfortunately required elsewhere.Provision of a primary landing site at any hospital for the YAA helicopters land is key to our operations.The swift transfer of the patient from our helicopter straight into the hospital is crucial, and having an appropriate landing site that can facilitate this is vital.The investment that has been made in the new helipad at Scarborough will only enhance patient care, delivery and safety.”