New Derriford Helipad Will Help Save Lives in Cornwall

A new helipad to be built at Derriford Hospital will make a dramatic difference to Cornish patients.

The hospital – the South West’s Major Trauma Centre – announced today that £1.7m of funding has been agreed for a purpose-built helipad, which will be in operation by Summer 2015.

The announcement comes after years of work by the hospital Trust and external stakeholders including Cornwall Air Ambulance, the national HELP Appeal and Devon Air Ambulance.

Half of the cost of the project has been met by the national HELP appeal, with the other half provided by the hospital Trust.

Cornwall Air Ambulance chief executive Paula Martin said: “This is great news for Cornish patients who need to be flown to the region’s Major Trauma Centre. For these patients, seconds really do count.

“For much of Cornwall, the only way to get a patient to Derriford quickly is by helicopter and so proper landing facilities are essential. The new helipad will safeguard our ability to get our patients to the Major Trauma Centre fast, no matter whether that is during the day or after dark.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance and representatives from the hospital Trust took the appeal to Westminster in June 2014 at the Association of Air Ambulance’s All Party Parliamentary Group Reception, where the campaign received support from all of Cornwall’s MPs.

Ms Martin continued: “We are immensely grateful for the support this appeal received from our local MPs, the media and the public, and want to congratulate Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust on getting this campaign to the point where work can now begin within weeks.

“With the excellent helipad facilities at Treliske and spades about to hit the ground on the new Derriford Helipad, Cornish patients will soon have access to the best network of hospital helipads in the country.”

With the arrival of its new night-capable aircraft in December 2014 Cornwall Air Ambulance will be able to extend its operations into the hours of darkness, making full use of the new helipad facilities at Derriford.