Helipad at Salisbury District Hospital reopens after £320,000 makeover

AN upgraded helipad has officially opened at Salisbury Hospital thanks to a £321,000 donation.

The landing site, for air ambulances, was opened by the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust thanks to a grant from the HELP Appeal charity, which is dedicated to funding hospital helipads.

Executives from the Trust, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, the HELP Appeal, and others attended the opening event, where the charity’s Bell 429 helicopter and aircrew touched down.

Ian Robinson, head of facilities at the trust and chair of the Helipad Working Group, said: “Approximately 60 patients each year arrive at our hospital via helicopter.

“To ensure we provide this vital service for many years to come, a replacement of our helipad was urgently required.

“We have been successful in securing all the funding required for this work from the HELP Appeal charity and we are indebted to them for their continued support.

“This project represents a significant investment in our hospital, benefiting some of our most critically ill patients.”

After an extensive survey and tender process, contractors were commissioned and work began on the new helipad in January, and the site was closed.

But, following successful test flights, it has now reopened.

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Features include lights to support night flights and new signage. A weather station is also being fitted to provide pilots with site-specific weather information.

Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “Patients have this incredible hospital, amazing medical teams and local air ambulances, so it’s only right that they have a state-of-the-art helipad too, that’s fit for purpose and able to accommodate the immediate landings and transfers of critically ill patients, any time of the day or night.

“Thanks to our supporters we are able to fund this new helipad, which is going to make patient transfers easy, efficient, and expeditious.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance safety and ground Operations manager, Richard Miller, added: “We can’t thank the HELP Appeal enough for investing in the new helipad for the trauma centre at Salisbury District Hospital.

“This now ensures the helipad complies with the latest CAP1264 regulations (Standards for Helicopter Landing Areas at Hospitals), enabling ourselves and neighbouring air ambulance resources to safely convey patients to the Emergency Department on a regular basis.”

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