New helipad for St George's Hospital
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has endorsed plans to build a new emergency helipad at St George’s Hospital.
The helipad will be built on the roof of the St James wing, which will have direct lift access to the accident and emergency department, significantly reducing transfer times.
The project has received a £1 million grant from the HELP appeal, a charity that aims to increase the number of emergency helipads around the country. Construction of the helipad is expected to begin in December 2012 and it should be ready for use in summer 2013.
Mr Johnson said; "This is a fantastic project which will help save the lives of many Londoners and will improve our healthcare service. St George’s Hospital will be only the second hospital in the Capital with a helipad and the first one south of the Thames."
At present, seriously injured patients often fly over St George’s, the main Major Trauma Centre for south-west London, and fly further because of the lack of helicopter facilities.
For the greatest chance of survival, patients need to reach a Major Trauma Centre within 60 minutes, known as the Golden Hour in the medical profession.
Major trauma injuries- such as those caused by serious road traffic accidents, shootings, stabbings, falls from height and major burns - are the most common killers of people under 55, yet the majority of hospitals across the country do not have vital helipad facilities to dramatically speed up transfers.
Heather Jarman, clinical director for major trauma at St George’s said: "A helipad at the hospital providing express access to A&E will save lives and give these patients a much better chance of a good recovery from their injuries."
The helipad will support local air ambulance services - Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and London’s Air Ambulance.
Robert Bertram, charity director at County Air Ambulance Trust, commented: "We are delighted that we’re able to assist St George’s Hospital."
"The lack of onsite helipad facilities at hospitals is a growing issue and could be costing many lives."