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Hereford County Hospital has opened its new, larger helipad thanks to the support of the HELP Appeal, the only charity in England dedicated to funding hospital helipads.
The entire construction costs of the new helipad and additional infrastructure around the emergency department, were covered by the HELP Appeal’s £100,000 (US$122,271) donation.
The new helipad has replaced the hospital’s smaller one, and due to its increased size, will enable larger air ambulances including those from the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) to land directly at the hospital. These bigger aircraft are vital in an emergency, as they are faster and can carry more medical equipment, another medic or the relative of a critically ill patient.
The new helipad has also removed the need for a secondary transfer by road as larger aircraft couldn’t land at the hospital previously, which could have delayed treatment for a critically ill patient.
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal said: “The HELP Appeal was committed to ensuring that this helipad was fit for purpose, just like the other 38 hospital and air ambulance base helipads that we have funded across the country.
“This helipad at Hereford County Hospital means that AA crews will be able to land their critically ill patients safely and transfer them quickly to the emergency care they urgently need, which could save their lives. This is why there was no hesitation in donating the funding required for this much needed upgrade.
“I’d like to thank our donors, who helped to build this and other helipads across the country, including Kington Golf Club in Herefordshire, whose members have been so supportive of the HELP Appeal’s lifesaving work.”
Ian Roberts, air operations manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “When a traumatic injury or medical emergency takes place, time is a critical factor in ensuring patients have the best possible chance of survival and recovery. Once we have provided initial and crucial treatment at an incident scene, it is imperative the receiving hospital has the very best infrastructure in place to allow the aircrew to smoothly transfer the patient to the A&E department, therefore the improved works to the helipad at Hereford Hospital will be of benefit to the patient.”