MRI helipad under way.
Byline: CHARLOTTE DOBSON
BUILDING work has started on a new helipad at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The PS3.9m rooftop project is finally off the ground after years of fundraising and planning by hospital charity chiefs.
The landing pad will connect to MRI, the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, St Mary's and the Royal Eye Hospital via a link bridge and rooftop corridor.
The hospital, unlike Wythenshawe, does not have its own landing facility.
Patients have to be dropped off a mile away before being transferred to hospital by road.
Once complete, the new MRI pad will see an estimated 312 patients airlifted to the site a year. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by spring 2020. The 130m-long bridge between Grafton Street car park and MFT hospitals will be suspended 19 metres above street-level with direct access to the hospitals' emergency departments, a major trauma centre for children and a 24 hour a high dependency obstetrics unit.
Dr Jon Simpson, medical director and consultant physician at MRI, said:"The quality and speed of specialist medical care following a major trauma injury is vital to ensuring our patients have the best chance of a full recovery.
"In these situations, patients need to be transferred to a Major Trauma Centre or an Emergency Department, both of which we have on site at the MRI and RMCH.
"The helipad will be invaluable to us and our patients as in some situations; the quickest or most appropriate way to get a patient to these services is by helicopter."
Funding for the helipad was raised by Manchester University Trust(MFT) charity's Time Save Lives Appeal. The campaign raised PS3.9m in just 12 months with individuals, businesses and community groups from across the north west all showing their support.
This included a donation of PS1.3m from the County Air Ambulance Trust's HELP (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) appeal and a PS1.1m in banking fines from government's LIBOR funds.
An artist's impression of the helipad