New £2m helipad opens at city’s Northern General Hospital
Sheffield Hospitals Charity has a state-of-the-art helipad that will give critically ill patients quicker access to life-saving medical treatment.
Thanks to the generosity of local people and businesses, Sheffield Hospitals Charity has been able to fund a state-of-the-art helipad that will give critically ill patients quicker access to life-saving medical treatment.
When patients with life threatening conditions land by air ambulance at the Northern General Hospital (NGH) in Sheffield, they are now just seconds away from the Accident and Emergency Department, where they can receive the urgent attention they need.
Caring people from across Sheffield, South Yorkshire and further afield have worked hard to raise the funds required and to improve the chances of survival for anyone who is seriously hurt or ill.
After months of building work, the helipad is now in full operation, ready to serve a population of 1.8 million people covering South Yorkshire, parts of the Humber, Derbyshire and the East Midlands.
Patients who land at the NGH are now only a trolley push away from a consultant-led specialist team with access to the best diagnostic and treatment facilities.
Before the new helipad was built, air ambulance helicopters had to land on a helipad which was built more than 20 years ago, and because of its distance from the Emergency Department, it required a secondary transfer by land ambulance to reach the hospital. This took extra time and created additional complexity and risks for patients.
Following the launch of the Helipad Appeal by Sheffield Hospitals Charity in October 2014, hundreds of local people and businesses have run, baked, biked and walked to help make the new helipad a reality.
Twenty five year-old Daniel Draper from Dinnington knows only too well the importance of the air ambulance and the Emergency Department Team as they helped to save his life after a motorbike accident in March. Daniel was thrown from his bike into woodland and suffered horrific injuries, which resulted in him having eight hours of surgery on arrival at hospital and having to be induced into a coma for nearly two weeks to give him the best chance of recovery.
Daniel said: “I’m extremely fortunate to be here today. I have been told it would have been extremely unlikely that I would have survived if I hadn’t been flown to the Northern General Hospital, due to the severity of my injuries and the amount of blood I had lost. Thankfully, I remember very little about what happened. I just know that I will be eternally grateful to all of the medical team who put me back together.
It’s fantastic that Sheffield Hospitals Charity have helped to build an even better helipad. Sadly, there will be other people like me who need life-saving care, but now they have a higher chance of surviving as they can get treatment more quickly.”
Dr Stuart Reid, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “As part of the team receiving patients in our resuscitation room, I know how vitally important the new helipad is. Time is a crucial factor in determining if a person lives or dies. The new helipad provides an industry leading facility for air ambulances to land easily and for our teams to transfer patients straight into the Emergency Department where we can start to treat them straight away. These precious minutes saved give us the best possible chance to save the life of the patient."
David Reynolds, Director at Sheffield Hospitals Charity said: “I’m overwhelmed by the level of support our Appeal has received locally. I’d like to personally thank everyone who has helped build this amazing facility, they can all call themselves lifesavers. None of us know when tragedy could strike. But if it does, having access to this new landing site right next to the Emergency Department means patients will receive the best medical attention possible as quickly as possible.”
Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that the new helipad at the Northern General Hospital is now fully operational. We are one of only 26 major trauma centres in the UK and the new helipad means we can provide life-saving care as quickly as possible. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Sheffield Hospitals Charity, who so purposefully led the ‘Saving Lives, Saving Time’ campaign, the County Air Ambulance Trust, Westfield Health, B. Braun, local businesses and the fantastic fundraising efforts of our staff and members of the public.”
Sheffield Hospitals Charity still has £80,000 left to raise to cover the final cost of £2 million to build the new helipad.
Thanks to contributions of £1,050,000 from the County Air Ambulance, £250,000 from Westfield Health and £181,000 from BBraun this target has nearly been reached.
To find out more about the Sheffield Helipad Appeal or to make a donation visit: http://www.sheffieldhelipad.com or call Sheffield Hospitals Charity on 0114 271 1351.