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14 December 2011

New air ambulance facility opened in Southampton

A new £1.1m facility located at a Southampton hospital has been officially opened.

The new facility, on site at the Southampton General Hospital in the UK, has been in operation since November. Used by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, it was created to significantly reduce transfer times for patients.

The new helipad has been installed on the site where a street level car park once stood in the northeast of the hospital. Providing immediate and unobstructed access to the doors of the Accident and Emergency clinical care unit, quicker transfer times are assured.

Commenting on the official opening, a Medical Doctor Andy Eynon, who works at Southampton General, said the facility would clearly save lives.

The hospital itself is set to become a major trauma centre in the south of the UK, under the restructuring of the country’s National Health Service.

Already though, it is an important part of clinical care in the region, providing major trauma support and dedicated children’s services. It is also a specialist care centre for stroke and heart attack victims, meaning the helipad was seen by many as a vital addition.

The cost of the Air Ambulance helipad was largely funded by donations from members of the public; many of them recipients of the service themselves. The appeal was run by the UK-wide Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads (HELP) campaign.

Work on the construction first started back in September 2011 and, in only taking two months to come online, shows an impressive commitment from all involved in the project.