New £500,000 helipad at Scarborough Hospital will enable night landings for first time

A new helipad at Scarborough Hospital will allow nighttime landings and the transfer of emergency patients for the first time.

By George Buksmann
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 9:22 am
The new helipad at Scarborough Hospital.
The new helipad at Scarborough Hospital.

The upgrade is part of a wider group of building works at Scarborough Hospital by York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is set to officially open on Monday March 28.

Mark Steed, Director of Property and Asset Management at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council's Scrutiny of Health Committee on March 11 that the upgraded helipad was of real benefit to the hospital.

"We're in the process of completing a new helipad. It is state-of-the-art and it compiles with the latest standards which are the equivalent to that of an oil rig," he said. "[It's] a real positive in terms of the use of helicopters to transport patients. It's a real asset to the hospital."

The new helipad at Scarborough Hospital, is said to have cost in the region of £500,000.

Mr Steed said ambulances will park up near the helipad site awaiting their arrival, ready to transport patients to the nearby Scarborough Hospital.

A report prepared for the meeting said that the new helipad upgrade has cost in the region of £500,000, which has been entirely funded by specialist charity the HELP Appeal.

The Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads or HELP Appeal provides significant grants to fund life-saving helipads at Major Trauma Centres and A&E hospitals around England and Scotland.

It is the only charity in the country nationally funding helipads and relies entirely on donations from the public.

The old helipad at Scarborough Hospital, before it was upgraded.

Last year the charity recreated classic World War Two-style posters with a Covid-inspired twist to raise funds for a helipad upgrade at Scarborough Hospital.

Since its inception in 2009, the HELP Appeal has opened 19 new helipads and upgraded 14, with 45 upgrades and new helipads planned.

The new helipad can currently be used during the day and will allow a wider range of helicopters to land, including Coastguard helicopters.

Mr Steed said: "We're yet to put the lighting in, that's going to be put in over the next month or so and that will allow not only day flights, which we are able to accommodate now, but this will allow nighttime use as well."

During the meeting, Mr Steed revealed that the project has required a significant amount of work and the new helipad alone used about two and a half tonnes of paint to complete the surface, which features a large white cross, surrounded with a yellow circle.

"It is a big civil engineering structure, it has been a real challenge for the project manager to develop," he said. "The former Plaxton's factory was buried in that area when they demolished it many years ago, so they've had to pull all that out and it was a bit of a quagmire."