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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) NHS Trust is set to open a new 24-hour helipad at Maidstone Hospital, thanks to the generous support of the HELP (helicopter emergency landing pads) Appeal.
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, presented a cheque to the Trust on March 13, 2019. The charity is the only one in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads.
Currently, helicopters are using a temporary landing site at the rear of the oncology unit at Maidstone Hospital, but this site is frequently waterlogged. The new helipad will permanently replace this and will bring a 24-hour safe landing site back to Maidstone.
“We are extremely grateful to the HELP Appeal for generously agreeing to fund the landing site which will make a real difference to Maidstone Hospital,” said John Weeks, head of emergency planning & response at MTW NHS Trust.
“Having access to hospitals, like Maidstone, is vitally important to Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, as it gives us the ability to reduce our patients’ journey time, giving them access to critical care quicker,” said Leigh Curtis, executive director of service delivery for Air Ambulance Kent Surry Sussex. “This one is particularly meaningful to us, as it allows us to serve our founding community at its very heart.’
“We go where we are needed most and Maidstone Hospital needed our help,” commented Bertram. “Seriously ill patients need hospital care in a matter of minutes to increase their chances of survival and recovery. Building a helipad with zero risk of becoming waterlogged will ensure this happens, saving time and saving lives.’
The helipad is expected to be finished and ready for use by Spring of 2020. The HELP Appeal has donated £150,000 today and a further £150,000 will be donated later in the year.