Following a period of intensive training, the new helipad at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport is now fully operational, boasting a turnaround time of just 4 minutes.
Patients can now benefit from the multi-million pound development which has cut transfer times from around 45 minutes down to just 4 – a potentially life-saving move which has received great support.
In the past, patients were transferred to Seaclose Park off of Fairlee Road, Newport by land ambulance, a timely and unsuitable situation which often included the Coastguard for safety.
Coastguard Rescue 104 helicopter performed it’s first operational medivac from St Mary’s on Friday evening following a number of test flights, working with the Trust’s staff to ensure that the handover of patients is managed safely.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance also performed a medivac from the brand new helipad yesterday afternoon (Wednesday)
Isle of Wight NHS Trust Chief Executive Karen Baker said: “This fantastic new development will enable 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. It will also enable St. Mary’s to receive more directly patients who require transfer by helicopter from incidents elsewhere on the Island.”
St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department Consultant Robin Beal says: “This [the helipad] will most commonly be used for patients who are brought to St. Mary’s by 999 ambulance to be stabilised before being airlifted. We already fly trauma patients to Southampton and cardiac patients to Portsmouth so the addition of the Helipad at St Mary’s will make the transfer easier for patients and staff.”
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.
Planning permission for the Helipad was granted by Isle of Wight Council in April 2012 and construction started in October 2012. The helipad was constructed by Mansell Balfour Beatty PLC using primarily their island based supply chain.