It is a historic moment in London’s Air Ambulance history, as it started operating from atop the new Royal London Hospital – now to be its home.
The state-of-the-art new facility in Whitechapel, East London, has an 80 metre walkway, fire fighting equipment and is fully illuminated with perimflooeter and lighting. Covering an expanse of 28 square metres and 282 feet high, it becomes one of the largest and highest European Air Ambulance helipads.
In order to get patients to the trauma and emergency care centre, the leading facility of its kind in the UK, there is a high speed elevator. Travelling from the 17the floor helipad to the ground floor unit takes just two minutes.
Since 1989, London’s Air Ambulance has provided the UK’s capital with its only roadside trauma and medical evacuation team. Having to deal with such major emergencies as the 7/7 terrorist bombings the team are highly trained and respected by their peers.
Responding to regular incidents on the M25, the packed transport network and incidents in the packed shopping districts, the team answer an average of seven calls each day.
The move to the new home, 23 years after the service started, was ten years in the planning. Though sentimentality will make the old facility much missed, the Medical Director and Chair of the Trustees, Dr Gareth Davies welcomed the move.
“..we are excited to deliver our clinical excellence in such an excellent clinical environment.”
With the very best support and facilities for the Air Ambulance’s staff too, it is yet another benchmark which other European air ambulance services should be eager to follow.