Landmark landings reached for charity which funds construction of NHS helipads

A charity which funds the construction of new or upgraded hospital air ambulance helipads has reached a landmark of 15,500 landings on NHS helipads it has funded.

The HELP Appeal was founded in 2009 and has donated £20 million towards 39 new or upgraded helipads, of which 32 have been NHS hospitals. The charity said that the cost of planned helipads stands at £50.75 million.

There are currently eight helipads in operation in Scotland which have been funded by the HELP Appeal. They can be found at Balfour Hospital, Orkney; Western Isles Hospital, Stornaway; Portree Hospital, Isle of Skye; St Brendan’s Hospital, Isle of Barra; Raigmore Hospital, Inverness; Mull & Iona Community Hospital; The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow; and Isle of Arran War Memorial Hospital.

Three further helipads are being planned to be upgraded or built at University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; and Campbeltown Hospital.

Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, said “Over 10 years ago, hospital helipad facilities were severely lacking, yet finance for hospitals was tight. There was little doubt that if we didn’t offer non-repayable funds towards the cost of helipads, hospitals would struggle to ever have one, despite emergency medics saying they were desperately needed to save time and save lives.

“Today, finance for hospitals remains tight, but the demand for our helipad grants continues to grow and we are recognised as the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads.”