Thanks to a £2 million pledge from the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country funding NHS hospital helipads, Salford Royal’s new hospital will have a new rooftop helipad that will be able to receive seriously injured or ill patients flown directly in by helicopter. It means that up to 20 minutes will be saved in transferring a critically ill patient from an air ambulance to the hospital.
Building work started on Salford Royal’s new hospital in February last year. Salford Royal is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. BAM Construction is leading the construction of the new six-storey facility. Features of the new hospital include a resuscitation area, five emergency theatres, inpatient beds, and diagnostic imaging and a helipad.
Although Salford Royal has been a Major Trauma Centre for several years, this is the first time the hospital will have a helipad, meaning that severely ill or injured patients will be able to receive their urgent care and treatment even quicker. It is anticipated that approximately seven flights could land at the helipad every week.
Today, the HELP Appeal presents the first of four £500,000 instalments, which will fund the helipad’s entire construction on the rooftop of the new hospital.
Dr Scott Beattie, Consultant in Salford Royal’s Emergency Village and also a North West Air Ambulance Charity doctor, said: “It’s our job to care for the sickest of patients; those patients who have received the most serious type of injuries or experienced a really serious illness. Time is of the essence with these patients. Fast access to specialist treatment is vital to give patients the best chance possible of surviving and, if they survive, going on to make the best recovery.
“At the moment, patients that are brought to us by air ambulance, land in a nearby sports field and are then transported to us by road ambulance. Although the sports field is less than half a mile away, this costs precious time. We believe that having an on-site helipad at the forthcoming Greater Manchester Major Trauma Hospital could save 20 vital minutes for a patient.
“As an air ambulance doctor myself, I regularly see the benefits that having an on-site helipad brings and I am therefore really excited that we will receive one as part of our new and improved facilities.”
HELP Appeal’s Chief Executive, Robert Bertram said: “There is no doubt that Salford Royal and North West Air Ambulance Charity both provide excellent care. Now the region urgently needs the HELP Appeal to seamlessly connect the two and save the time it takes to transfer air ambulance patients to the major trauma hospital. A £2 million rooftop helipad is the perfect solution.
“Helipads are lifesavers in their own right in giving a patient the best possible chance of survival. Our donation will help to ensure that the helipad will be up and running and saving lives as soon as possible.”
Dr Chris Brookes, NCA Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support of HELP Appeal. The charity are doing amazing work across the country and their efforts are undoubtedly leading to many, many lives being saved.”
Heather Arrowsmith, CEO at North West Air Ambulance Charity, said: “As a charity, our priority is to bring the hospital to the patient. That means providing enhanced pre-hospital care at scene to the most critically ill and injured patients in our region. Once we have stabilised the patient, our focus is on getting them to the most definitive point of care for their onward treatment.
“A helipad at Salford Royal is a game-changer. It means we can take patients, often with multiple serious and complex injuries, directly into the unit to access the treatment they urgently need. This will save time and save lives.”
The HELP Appeal donated £1.36 million to the construction of a new helipad at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Since it opened in May 2021, it has seen over 70 air ambulance landings.
The HELP Appeal doesn’t receive any funding from the government or national lottery. To help fund the new helipad at Salford Royal and other lifesaving helipads across the country, please visit www.helpappeal.org.uk/donate or call 0800 3898 999.