OPINION: Help support medics’ work

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These days when a patient suffers extremely serious injuries - in a car crash, say, or in horrific circumstances such as a shooting or an industrial accident - they are not necessarily taken to the nearest hospital.

Instead, around two dozen large facilities around the country were last year designated as major trauma centres, in an effort to concentrate specialist care and hopefully boost the country’s survival rate.

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One of the centres was set up at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, and in 2013 it treated hundreds of the most dramatic cases.

Around a quarter of these patients were flown in by air ambulance - but now an appeal has been launched to build a new £2 million helipad at the hospital, as the old landing site is no longer effective enough. A chief drawback of the current helipad is the need to use a land ambulance to ferry patients the final 250 metres to the doors of A&E.

Staff say the appeal will help to save more lives - which is why people in Sheffield and beyond need to make sure the fundraising is a success.

We can also all do our bit to help emergency medics by only visiting A&E if absolutely necessary, ensuring staff are on hand to deal with urgent, life-or-death situations.