First flight arrives at Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s new helipad


Landing space rebuilt by HELP Appeal to accommodate larger aircraft

The first air ambulance landed on the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s (RBH) new helipad yesterday, following a complete rebuild funded by the HELP Appeal.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s AW169 landed on the new pad, which allows larger aircraft to land and for landings to take place at night.

The rebuild, which came to £119,000, was completely funded by the HELP Appeal.

Work began in early June, with air ambulances landing at St Peters School playing fields while work was carried out.

Richard Renaut, chief operating officer at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: We’re delighted with the new helipad and yesterday we got to see it at its best – receiving a larger air ambulance than we would have been able to receive on our previous pad.

“We’re grateful to the HELP Appeal and all the donors for funding this facility. It’s going to make all the difference to patients coming into the hospital via air, ensuring they receive the care they need as quickly as possible, both day and night.”

Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, added: “We go where we’re needed most and Bournemouth Hospital needed our help to fund the entire upgrade and illumination of its helipad to accommodate larger air ambulances, which can hold more life-saving equipment and crew.

“Air ambulances can now land beside the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This will have such a huge impact on patients when they become critically ill.

“We don’t receive any funding from the Government or the Lottery, so would like to thank all of our supporters who helped to make this happen.”

And Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance chief executive, said: “Patient benefit is our number one priority and they are always at the centre of everything we do.

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“Any modifications or improvements in the infrastructure to enable us to deliver them to the right hospital, which best suits their needs, is a great thing.”