THE EMERGENCY helicopter landing pad at Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway, has been upgraded thanks to a £40,000 donation from the Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads (HELP) Appeal.
The hospital received the surprise cash boost from HELP after the charity’s chief executive read about the poor condition of the current helipad.
The need for an upgrade became clear last July during a test landing of the new Bond helicopters which were being brought into service by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The stretchers on board these helicopters have automatic drop- down wheels which were incompatible with the surface, meaning time could be potentially lost during emergency transfers.
NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson had spoken to the ambulance service about options for upgrading the helipad, but HELP stepped in with the money.
The grass surface has now been replaced with reinforced concrete paving and the lighting upgraded too.
Robert Bertram, chief executive of HELP, said: We had no hesitation in donating £40,000 to cover the cost of Western Isles Hospital’s helipad upgrade. Faced with regular extreme weather, never was a hospital helipad so deserving of an upgrade. Our donation has helped to ensure a secure and solid landing area for all air ambulances and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter.’
Mr Jamieson said: ‘I thank them for their kindness, for making themselves known to us and then funding the work in its entirety.’