Plymouth: Derriford Hospital



Although Derriford Hospital Plymouth is the Major Trauma Centre for Devon and Cornwall, until recently it didn’t have a helipad suitable for the demands placed upon it. A small grassed-over area with no lighting, where larger Search and Rescue helicopters were unable to land anyway, was deemed wholly inadequate.

Thanks in large part to a Grant of £850,000 from the HELP Appeal, a brand new helipad opened in June 2015. The highly advanced facility addressed previous shortcomings including the installation of a proper lighting system, which now means that Air Ambulances are able to land at Derriford 24 hours a day,

As a tangible measure of its relevance and success, in the first year there have been over 280 Air Ambulance and Search and Rescue helicopter landings; that’s more than 5 critically ill and seriously injured patients a week who have been given an improved opportunity to access the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time.


“The new helipad has made a huge difference to the way in which the hospital is able to receive and treat time-critical patients.

This fantastic facility has made it easier for operators to land, has extended their ability to land at night if required and has meant that a far greater type of aircraft is able to use the helipad.
It is hard to believe that only a year ago we were still reliant on a large piece of grass for operators to land. The new helipad looks as if it has always been there and its design and construction is a great credit to all those involved in its conception and delivery.”

Andrew Davies, Facilities Operations Manager for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust