Construction work on the new £3.9m helipad at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has begun and is set to benefit four major hospitals in Manchester
The new helicopter landing site, being built on the roof of Grafton Street car park on Oxford Road will enable critically ill or injured babies, children and adults to be airlifted straight to four major MFT hospitals.
A high-level patient transfer corridor will connect the helipad landing site to Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), Saint Mary’s Hospital (SMH) and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH).
Each of the hospitals on MFT’s Oxford Road Campus offer world-leading, specialist services which are not always available at other hospitals within the North West and in some cases, the rest of the UK. The construction of the helipad is expected to see an estimated 312 patients airlifted to the site each year.
Funding for the helipad was raised by MFT Charity’s Time Save Lives appeal, which raised a phenomenal £3.9m in just 12 months, thanks to the dedication and generosity of its supporters.
The appeal was the focus of the Charity’s fundraising, with individuals, businesses and community groups from across the North West all showing their support. This included a generous donation of £1.3m from the HELP Appeal and £1.1m from the government’s LIBOR fines funds.
Building work officially began earlier in June 2019 and the helipad is set to be fully operational by spring 2020.
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust chairman, Kathy Cowell, said: “I am delighted that the construction work has begun and that we will be able to offer this service in spring 2020. It is a very exciting time for MFT and the helipad is an amazing project which will help to save so many lives in Greater Manchester, the North West and beyond.”
Dr Jon Simpson, medical director and consultant physician at Manchester Royal Infirmary, added: “The quality and speed of specialist medical care following a major trauma injury is vital to ensuring our patients have the best chance of a full recovery. In these situations, patients need to be transferred to a Major Trauma Centre or an Emergency Department, both of which we have on site at the MRI and RMCH.”
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal added: “This is one of the biggest donations that the HELP Appeal has given to any hospital. But, we didn’t hesitate in coming to their aid, because as the Major Trauma Centre for the northwest a life-saving helipad is essential. We are delighted that its construction is now underway because it will save time and save lives.”