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Emergency helipad opens on Isle of Mull

A new life-saving helipad has opened on Mull.

The landing site – adjacent to Mull and Iona Community Hospital – will provide emergency access for air ambulances and coastguard helicopters.

The state-of-the-art helipad will avoid the need for a patient to be transferred by land ambulance to the Glenforsa Airfield, which is 15 minutes away by road.

It is hoped that specialist hospital treatment on the mainland can be accessed within the “golden hour” that will help improve patients’ outcomes.

Pic: HELP Appeal/Iain Erskine
Image: Pic: HELP Appeal/Iain Erskine
Pic: HELP Appeal/Iain Erskine
Image: Pic: HELP Appeal/Iain Erskine

The land was donated by Andy and Naomi Knight, with charity Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads (HELP) Appeal gifting £418,000 to cover the cost of the project.

Construction began in May last year.

Mull and Iona Community Trust will undertake responsibility for the helipad and has been charged to ensure its future condition and maintenance.

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Pic: HELP Appeal/Moray Finch
Image: Pic: HELP Appeal/Moray Finch

Cheryl-Ann Paterson, NHS Highland’s senior charge nurse for Mull and Iona Community Hospital, said: “We’re really grateful that the HELP Appeal has been so supportive by funding 100% of the cost of our new helipad.

“It is going to make such a difference to the health outcomes for our patients and the whole NHS team across the island are united in their thanks.”

The HELP Appeal – run by the County Air Ambulance Trust – provides grants to major trauma centres and hospitals across the UK to fund new or upgrade existing helipads.

In Scotland, the appeal has helped fund helipads at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, and at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

It is currently building a helipad on the Isle of Gigha, with help from British Army soldiers.

Robert Bertram, chief executive of HELP Appeal, said: “This helipad is a game changer for the local community.

“When you’re seriously ill, delaying a departure from the island to access treatment at a major trauma hospital or A&E hospital on the mainland could have serious consequences.

“This new helipad dramatically speeds up that access – meaning that many more lives could be saved and demonstrates the HELP Appeal’s commitment to Scotland with another lifesaving helipad.”

Sky News Source