Work on a new helipad for a Sheffield hospital has finally taken off after years of fundraising.
Lord Mayor of Sheffield Talib Hussain was on hand to officially mark the start of building work on the Northern General Hospital’s brand new helipad, which hospital bosses say will save lives.
The new primary helipad, which will be right outside the doors of the emergency department, is expected to be up and running by spring 2016.
Lord Mayor Coun Hussain took part in the ‘ground breaking’ ceremony to officially kick-start the building process for the new landing facility.
Dr Stuart Reid, emergency consultant and trauma lead for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, was at the ceremony.
He said: “It’s great to be here to see how work is progressing on our fantastic new helipad.
“We’ve been planning this for a long time and it’s exciting for all the team in A&E and across the hospital to know that next spring it should be finished.
“Every second really can count in saving lives and the new helipad should save around five minutes.
“It will also reduce the risk of complications and additional discomfort that comes from transferring people from the current landing site into a land ambulance, driving them up the road and then moving them again into the resus room.”
Currently, air ambulance helicopters must land on the ‘secondary’ helipad, which was built more than 20 years ago.
The distance to the emergency department requires a secondary transfer by road so the ambulance can reach the hospital.
The Northern General Hospital is one of just 26 trauma centres in the country and covers areas of Yorkshire, Humber and East Midlands, serving 1.8 million people.
David Reynolds, director of Sheffield Hospitals Charity said: “It’s a momentous occasion and I’m proud to be here to witness the work taking place on what will be a vital link in the chain of emergency services.
“We’d like to thank all of our supporters and fundraisers for their support in getting us to this point.”
Just over £1.6m has been raised for the construction with £400,000 still to go to hit the £2m target.
To donate, visit www.sheffieldhelipad.com