Work has started on a £1m helipad at Aintree University Hospital which will give seriously-injured patients arriving by air ambulances immediate access to the emergency department and specialist treatment.
Funded by the HELP Appeal, this new helipad will serve patients from across Cheshire and Merseyside and will reduce transfer time for patients in critical care.
At present, air ambulances must land on local playing fields, which can increase transfer times by 30 minutes.
The HELP Appeal is the only charity in the UK providing funding for life-saving helipad from Devon to Scotland, and the new Aintree Hospital helipad will ensure patients are quickly transferred to Aintree’s new state-of-the-art Urgent Care and Trauma Centre.
Specialists at the regional major trauma centre, which brings together teams from Aintree and neuro-surgery experts from The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, say the new helipad will save vital minutes when transferring trauma patients from air ambulance into the hospital.
Sharon Scott, divisional medical director of surgery and anaesthesia at Aintree Hospital, said: “The new helipad is fantastic news for our patients. It will make a tremendous difference to them and their families, and it is all possible thanks to the generosity of the HELP Appeal.”
Mark Evans, clinical service manager at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, added: “Every second counts in matters of severe trauma, which makes helipads like this one so critically important for patients across the region.
“Its close proximity to the hospital will enhance the life-saving service we provide, as we will no longer have to rely on a land ambulance to transfer patients to the emergency department.
“Overall, we anticipate that this new addition at Aintree will save around 10-12 minutes per patient – enough to save a life.”
The helipad is being built by BAM Construction.