Sick Kids: New helipad at NHS Lothian’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People has lift off

The new helipad located at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience officially opened on Monday (April 12).
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The helipad, located above the fourth floor of the RHCYP/DCN, will serve both the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Sick Kids, giving direct access to child and adult emergency departments, as well as all other clinical departments on site.

Hospital helipads are important in trauma care, reducing the time it takes to transfer critically ill patients. Without them, patient treatment can be delayed, which can be life-threatening.

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Dr Jon McCormack, Clinical Lead for Paediatric Major Trauma, NHS Lothian explained that having access to a helipad plays an important role in making sure planned and emergency transfers are as smooth as possible.

He said: “The helipad will provide access to hospital services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with three trained helideck responders being available to ensure safe landing and departure. This will help to enhance patient care by facilitating a seamless transition of patients from the air ambulance to in-patient services.”

The helipad was part-funded through the HELP Appeal, which aims to ensure that patients who sustain life threatening critical injuries or illnesses are able to be flown directly by air ambulance to a Major Trauma Centre or A&E hospital, where all the specialist clinical skills and medical equipment are immediately available.

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “The amazing RHCYP, DCN and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh treat some of the most seriously ill in Scotland. This lifesaving helipad will dramatically speed up the time it takes to transfer these patients from helicopter to hospital any time of the day or night, giving them the best chance of survival and recovery.

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“We had no hesitation in providing the £700,000 needed to ensure the hospitals had a state-of-the-art helipad – a crucial element in their emergency care offering – as it will save many lives.”

NHS Lothian's new helipad.NHS Lothian's new helipad.
NHS Lothian's new helipad.

Jim Crombie, Deputy Chief Executive, NHS Lothian, said: “It really will make a positive difference and will no doubt save many lives.”

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