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Aintree Hospital £1m helipad sees over 300 landings on its third anniversary

Aintree Hospital’s £1m helipad has seen more than 300 landings from air ambulances, including the North West Air Ambulance, over the past three years. On average, that’s around two landings every week. 

The onsite helipad, which was funded entirely by the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding NHS hospital helipads, received its first patient in July 2017. 

Since then, the region’s most seriously ill patients have been able to access the hospital’s Emergency Department and specialist trauma services in just a few seconds after landing in an air ambulance. The hospital hosts the Cheshire and Merseyside Major Trauma Centre, providing major trauma services to a catchment area of 2.3m residents in the North West and Isle of Man.

Prince William Duke of Cambridge visit to Aintree University Hospital to open the new Urgent Care and Trauma Centre. Images by Gareth Jones

Before the helipad was built, patients arriving by air ambulance had to be met at a nearby playing field before being transported to the hospital by road ambulance, which could take up to 30 minutes.

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Aintree University Hospital, said:

“The helipad has made a tremendous difference to the speed with which our colleagues in the ambulance service are able to get our region’s most seriously injured patients seen by our emergency and major trauma teams. This means we are able to assess and treat patients sooner, giving them the best chance of recovery. I’d like to again thank the HELP Appeal for funding the helipad, on behalf of all those who have benefited from it.”   

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said:

“To have over 300 landings in just three years shows how vital this helipad is to Major Trauma Care in the region.

“Helipads save time and save lives. This is demonstrated in Aintree where over 9,000 minutes have been shaved off the time it would have taken critically ill patients to access Aintree’s Emergency Department over the past three years if the helipad hadn’t been built. And as a road ambulance is no longer required to transfer an air ambulance patient after landing, the North West Ambulance Service have more time to treat other patients across the city and beyond.”

About the HELP Appeal

The HELP Appeal was created in 2009 by the County Air Ambulance Trust. It is the only charity in the country dedicated to funding NHS hospital helipads. The HELP Appeal aims to significantly increase the number of onsite hospital helipads at major trauma centres and A&E hospitals through its grant scheme which offers non-repayable grants to hospitals to help fund new helipads or upgrade existing helipads.

Overall it has funded 39 helipads across the country, which have seen 15,000 landings. There are over 40 projects in the pipeline. The HELP Appeal relies solely on charitable donations and does not receive any government funding or money from the National Lottery.

You can follow the HELP Appeal on Twitter: @helipadHELP, Facebook or Linkedin or visit the website: www.helpappeal.org.uk

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