Printed at: 09:08:37 / 17-02-2019

News and Supporters

Donation from HELP for Helipad AppealIf you help us to fund a helipad at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D), we can:

  • Provide better care for your family, friends and neighbours
  • Ensure that quality of life is as paramount as survival

Many UK hospitals, including ours, do not have adequate landing facilities for air ambulances even though they are a key part of increasing patient survival rates.

Over 90,000 people; fathers, mothers, daughters and sons come through the Emergency Department (ED) at the L&D each year. We need your help to ensure that all patients needing urgent emergency care from an air ambulance can access our services as quickly as possible. So we plan to build a helipad with direct access to the ED.

When someone suffers a major trauma which involves serious or multiple injuries, the speed in which they receive the right medical treatment is critical. The quicker a patient can receive this specific emergency care the more likely it is that the treatment will prevent death or serious disability. This is often referred to as the Golden Hour and emergency services strive to get patients to the most appropriate place for the lifesaving care they need within an hour of sustaining their injury. For this reason, patients, once stabilized at the scene, need to be transferred to an Emergency Centre as quickly as possible. Quite often the quickest and best way to do this is via air ambulance (helicopter).

Helicopters can significantly reduce travel time to a hospital compared to a land ambulance, especially in peak times across busy towns and they offer a much more reliable mode of transporting critically ill patients. Travel time can often be just minutes and by having a helipad linked to our ED, patients would be transferred directly from the air ambulance to the place where they will immediately be treated.

The area the helipad would serve is very diverse from large, busy towns to rural isolated sites. The impact on both would be significant. In rural areas, the time taken for a land ambulance to reach someone having a stroke, heart attack or having suffered an injury is often significant enough to have a real impact on their chance of survival and the quality of their recovery. In built up areas heavy traffic flow often leads to vital minutes being lost.

Despite the increasing pressures on A&Es that have been reported in the national media over the last year, our ED has uniquely hit its 4 hour wait target and was rated as ‘outstanding’ in the recent CQC inspection making it one of the top performing Emergency Departments in the UK. However there is still more we can do for our patients and having a helipad at the L&D will undoubtedly save lives and give more people from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and beyond a greater chance of a better recovery.

The cost of the helipad will be £5.4 million.