Saving time saves lives - back helipad appeal, says Forgemasters chairman

Have your say

Industrialists throughout the City Region are being urged to put their employees’ safety at the top of the agenda and back a £2million appeal to save lives.

Forgemasters chairman Tony Pedder, immediate past Master Cutler, is campaigning for an appeal to build a vital new helipad at the Northern General Hospital’s A&E.

Artist's impression of how the new helipad at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital will look

Artist's impression of how the new helipad at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital will look

Saving Time, Saving Lives has been launched by the Sheffield Hospitals Charity to ensure patients needing life-saving treatment are transferred to the hospital’s Major Trauma Centre within seconds of a helicopter landing.

Mr Pedder, who is chair of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “In business we’re constantly looking at ways of saving time, as it equates to saving money. But this appeal is about saving time so that we can save lives and that is so important. In a life-threatening situation, a few minutes can make all the difference.

“From my role at Forgemasters I know health and safety is top of the agenda for the business community. We all want our workforce to work in safety and go home every night.

“But even with the strictest safety regime, accidents can happen and when they do we need to know that our people are going to get the best possible care as quickly as possible.

“The current helipad is one of the very few gaps in the city’s world-class health care, but it is a big one we have to fill,” he added, appealing to employers to dig deep.

“Businesses who can afford to do their bit to help-should do it now,” he urged.

Currently, air ambulance helicopters have to land on a helipad built over 20 years ago, some distance away. Patients then need to be transferred by land ambulance, wasting time and increasing risks and patients’ discomfort.

The helipad is also dangerously small for many modern search and rescue aircraft, has no lighting so cannot be used at night, and its location is against official safety guidelines. Local patients could be taken to major trauma centres in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham or Stoke if air ambulance crews decide not to risk landing at the Northern General.

Sheffield’s major trauma centre serves a population of around 1.8 million covering all of South Yorkshire and parts of the Humber, Derbyshire and the East Midlands.

Already the appeal has over £1.4 million, including £900,000 from the County Air Ambulance Trust, but £585,000 still needs to be raised.

Said Mr Pedder: “I’ve joined the Sheffield Helipad Appeal Committee to raise the remaining money and I’m with an illustrious group of key business people. We want to talk other businesses and tell them how they can get involved.”

The helipad appeal committee also includes James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, Sheffield City Council chief executive John Mothersole, Sir Hugh Sykes, local industrialist, Richard Wright from the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, B. Braun group chief executive Hans Hux and general manager Brian Chapman.

Make a donation at or call Sheffield Hospitals Charity on 0114 271 1351. Donate £5 by texting HOSPITAL10 £5 to 70660.