It’s been one year since Ipswich Hospital opened its new helipad for the first time after the HELP Appeal – the only charity in the country that funds hospital helipads – covered the entire £250,000 cost.
Twelve months later, it has seen 72 landings from critically ill patients across the East Anglia region, who have been flown in by air ambulance.
The new helipad was equipped with lighting, which has enabled three air ambulances – including East Anglian Air Ambulance – to land during darkness hours, allowing seriously ill or injured patients to arrive at the hospital around the clock for the first time.
Ipswich Hospital’s former helicopter landing space was on the neighbouring Copleston High School field. It would take between 15 and 20 minutes to reach the hospital’s Emergency Department from the field. Over the past year, the new helipad has saved around 1080 minutes of transfer time for all of the patients who have flown to the hospital.
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal said:
“Over the past year critically ill patients have no longer had to make a long journey to access the expert treatment they need immediately. Saving time saves lives. That’s why we fund as many hospital helipads as we can.”
Dr Neil Berry, a consultant anaesthetist at Ipswich Hospital and East Anglian Air Ambulance, said:
“The installation of a 24-hour helipad at Ipswich Hospital was a huge step forward for the region in maintaining that patient’s get the very best care – as quickly as possible – unrestricted by the time of day. When we need to get a critically ill patient to hospital, every second counts. This new facility is making a huge difference to patient’s lives and EAAA and hospital staff were privileged to be asked to officially open the helipad last year. As we look to increase our service in 2020 to fly 24/7 across the region, we expect that we will make use of this helipad even more than we already do.”