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VIDEO: £2m Landing Pad Will "Help Save Lives"
12:09pm 24th September 2014
(Updated 12:09pm 24th September 2014)
£2m is to be spent to help save Cornish lives.
The money is going on a new helipad at Derriford, where the Duchy's air ambulance lands.
At the moment emergency choppers have to use a small patch of grass - or land further away.
That means valuable time is lost, transferring the patient by land ambulance to the southwest's major trauma centre.
Work is set to start on the new landing spot to ensure it is ready to start operating next summer.
Cornwall Air Ambulance chief executive Paula Martin said: "This is great news for Cornish patients who need to be flown to the region's major trauma centre. For these patients, seconds really do count.
"For much of Cornwall, the only way to get a patient to Derriford quickly is by helicopter and so proper landing facilities are essential. The new helipad will safeguard our ability to get our patients to the major trauma centre fast, no matter whether that is during the day or after dark."
Cornwall Air Ambulance and representatives from the hospital Trust took the appeal to Westminster in June at the Association of Air Ambulance's All Party Parliamentary Group Reception, where the campaign received support from all of Cornwall's MPs.
Ms Martin continued: "We are immensely grateful for the support this appeal received from our local MPs, the media and the public, and want to congratulate Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust on getting this campaign to the point where work can now begin within weeks.
"With the excellent helipad facilities at Treliske and spades about to hit the ground on the new Derriford Helipad, Cornish patients will soon have access to the best network of hospital helipads in the country."
With the arrival of its new night-capable aircraft in December 2014 Cornwall Air Ambulance will be able to extend its operations into the hours of darkness, making full use of the new helipad facilities at Derriford.
You can watch what it is like to land a helicopter on the existing site here...
12:09pm 24th September 2014
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