Work to upgrade the current helipad at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust will begin next month, thanks to a £1 million donation from the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal.
The donation has covered the cost of the redevelopment and will allow the introduction of night landings at the hospital. At the moment, the helipad does not have the capacity to support night landings, meaning that its day light operation is limited, especially throughout the winter months. The upgraded helipad will also be extended to enable larger helicopters to land in the daytime.
Work will begin on the helipad within the next month and is due to be completed and fully functioning by November 2019, after receiving planning permission last year.
Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive at the RD&E said: “We are extremely grateful to the HELP Appeal and all those who have donated. The upgraded helipad will make a huge difference to patients at the RD&E.”
Gavin Lloyd, Emergency Medicine Consultant at the RD&E, said: “This is a hugely impressive financial contribution and, on behalf of the Emergency Department at the RD&E, I’d like to say a massive thank you to the HELP Appeal and all those who support this really worthwhile charity. Getting seriously ill patients and those badly injured to us quickly saves lives, and this money will enable us to continue treating these patients as quickly as possible.”
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “The HELP Appeal is dedicated to ensuring that all helipads across the country are fit for purpose and we are delighted that we could donate £1million to the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital to cover the entire cost for a brand new helipad. It will be built in the same great location as the existing helipad just outside the ED but will be larger, allowing bigger air ambulances to land and it will be fitted with lighting to allow night landings, which will help to save even more lives.”