Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Saving Lives Helipad Appeal has received a funding boost to the tune of £250,000 from the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal. Launched in July 2014, the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal is raising £3 million to build an onsite helipad at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), so that critically-injured patients can be transferred to the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre more quickly than current arrangements allow.
The HELP (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) Appeal supports the building and updating of helipads around the country, so that all Major Trauma Centres and key A&E hospitals can have their own helipads in the future. And the £0.25 million donation is just the first in a series of pledged donations that they’re planning to make towards the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal.
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal, says: ‘We’re delighted to be making this donation to Nottingham Hospitals Charity and helping them move a step closer to making the helipad at QMC a reality. The HELP Appeal has also pledged additional monies to the Charity further down the line to help them raise the funds they need to start building the new helipad as soon as possible.’
Currently, patients being taken to QMC by air ambulance have to complete their journey by road, which can take up to 20 minutes. Having a dedicated, onsite helipad will reduce this transfer time to less than 5 minutes, getting the most seriously-injured patients from across the region directly to the Major Trauma Centre where specialist teams are available, 24/7, to save lives.
‘Major trauma can happen to anyone, at any time,’ comments Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity. ‘In an emergency, fast access to treatment is vital to give the patient a fighting chance – and you never know when you or someone close to you might be the one in need.’
That’s something retired farmer, Ken Poole, found out first-hand in August 2014. He was run over by a tractor at a friend’s farm and ended up trapped beneath the trailer. Paramedics quickly summoned the air ambulance and Ken was rushed to QMC with life-threatening injuries, which resulted in the loss of both his legs. After spells in Intensive Care and High Dependency, Ken was moved to the Major Trauma Unit at ward C30, where he astounded staff with his speedy recovery and positive attitude.
‘Pretty much the first thing I said when I woke up in Intensive Care was “I’m going to walk again”,’ says Ken. ‘The nurse I said it to, a girl called Poppy, has a different job at QMC now, but I’m determined to track her down and show her how far I’ve come. I can’t praise the care I’ve received highly enough. Everyone at the Major Trauma Centre is just fantastic – and of course the air ambulance crew who saved my life.’
Like all air ambulance patients at the moment, Ken had to complete his journey by road from a nearby landing site. The amazing progress that he’s made since his accident is all down to the speed and quality of the treatment he received from medical experts at the scene and at the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre. Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Saving Lives Helipad Appeal aims to save time, which in turn will help our world-class clinicians save even more lives by making sure that more patients are treated within the ‘golden hour’ (the first 60 minutes following a severe injury), which is critical to favourable clinical outcomes.
Says Barbara: ‘Everyone at Nottingham Hospitals Charity would like to say a huge “thank you” to County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal for their generous donation towards our Saving Lives Helipad Appeal. The building of the helipad is entirely reliant on charitable donations and we’re asking communities across the East Midlands to get behind the Appeal and help us reach our fundraising target of £3 million.’
Find out more
To find out more about Nottingham Hospitals Charity and the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal or to make a donation, please visit www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk or call 0115 962 7905.