Cornish MPs Support Trauma Helipad Appeal

LOCAL MPs have lent their support to a campaign for lifesaving improvements to landing facilities at the region’s Major Trauma Centre.

Cornwall Air Ambulance took its campaign to Westminster on Monday 9th June at the annual reception of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Air Ambulances

Derriford Hospital is the region’s designated Major Trauma Centre but existing daytime landing facilities for emergency helicopters will be unsuitable for use in the dark as they cannot be modified to meet regulatory requirements.

MPs Sarah Newton, George Eustice and Andrew George attended the event to express their support, whilst letters of support were received from MPs Stephen Gilbert and Sheryll Murray.

Chief Executive for Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, Paula Martin, said: “The reception gave us a brilliant opportunity to discuss our concerns surrounding the inadequate landing facilities at Derriford Hospital with our local MPs.

“This is a big step forward in our campaign. We have worked very closely with Derriford Hospital and other interested organisations over the past couple of years, and the hospital have secured an appropriate site and permission to build.

“All that’s missing now is the funds, and we hope Monday’s meeting with our local MPs will be the first step in securing the necessary funds and getting spades in the ground.”

50% of the capital cost of the project has been pledged by national charity HELP but the hospital is unable to fund the remainder of the project itself due to other budgetary constraints and commitments.

Nick Thomas, Director of Planning and Site Services for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Trust is currently working to determine how the other 50% can be funded.

“We are very grateful for all the support that this project has received from our external stakeholders and hope that the capital funding can be identified soon then we can start the building work.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance attends around 800 emergency calls every year, with every emergency mission funded by charitable donations.

The charity has seen a significant increase in the number of patients it delivers to Derriford since the hospital was declared the peninsula’s Major Trauma Centre in April 2012.