The new Helipad became operational on the afternoon of Friday 17th May 2013 and was used for the first transfer of a patient by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance on 22nd May at 14:45hrs. The Helipad enables patients with life threatening injuries to be flown from the Trauma Unit at St Mary’s to the Trauma Centre at University Hospital Southampton or to other specialist centres. In an urgent situation the turn round time on the Helipad is around four minutes.
St Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department Consultant Robin Beal commented:
“The Helipad means faster and better treatment for patients. The Helipad enables us to fly patients from St. Mary’s instead of the old arrangement of a transfer by ambulance to Seaclose Park before the patient can be airlifted off the Island which used to take around 45 minutes to complete.
“Patients with trauma are now regularly flown to Southampton and cardiac patients to Portsmouth. Some patients, for example those with burns or head, brain or spinal injuries may go further afield. The addition of the Helipad at St. Mary’s will make the transfer easier for patients and staff.”
John Perry, Chief Executive, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance said:
“Speed is of the essence when it comes to saving lives, and it is crucial that the patient is conveyed to the most appropriate hospital for their needs, as quickly as possible. The new Helipad will allow us to save those vital minutes that can make all the difference.”
On arrival HRH was greeted by Isle of Wight NHS Trust Chairman Danny Fisher and Trust Chief Executive Officer Karen Baker. They escorted HRH into the Integrated Care Hub where HRH was introduced to Head of Ambulance Service, Mr Chris Smith.
Chris Smith, Head of the Island’s Ambulance Service said:
“The Integrated Care Hub was established in with the support of Isle of Wight Council and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group to manage and coordinate all emergency, urgent and unscheduled care for the Island. The hub aims to provide care closer to the patient’s home, avoid unnecessary admission to the acute hospital, deliver high quality co-ordinated patient/client care and ensure more efficient use of resources.”
St Mary’s Hospital is now part of the Wessex major trauma network and the Emergency Department at the hospital is one of seven designated trauma units which will stabilise some patients prior to rapid transfer to a major trauma centre, or treat less serious injuries such as fractures and minor head injuries. The major trauma centre in the Wessex network is University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust.
HRH Prince Edward also visited two local businesses and had lunch with the Island’s Scouts at Hasley Manor, Arreton.