London: King’s College Hospital

HOSPITAL TYPE: MAJOR TRAUMA CENTRE

STATUS: OPERATIONAL

The new helipad on top of King’s College Hospital’s 10-storey Ruskin Wing represents a hugely reassuring presence to trauma patients throughout South East London and Kent.

It significantly speeds up the time it takes an Air Ambulance to transfer critically ill patients to the vital, expert care they need; the ‘landing-to-resus’ time is reduced to just 5 minutes, an improvement of anything up to 20 minutes on the previous arrangement.

The helipad is also the first in mainland UK to be equipped with a deck integrated fire- fighting (DIFFS) system. In the event of a fire, the automated system sprays foam from a series of nozzles installed into the helideck and will extinguish a blaze within seconds, even in the strong winds often experienced at this height.

The system makes it safer for everyone involved, including emergency rescue teams, as they can work alongside the spray activation to help with the evacuation of patients and crew from the Air Ambulance.

Not only does it mean that fire fighters can be freed up to work on the ground, but this modern and proven system will save the Trust up to £200,000 a year, at a time when budgets are under increasing pressure.

All this was made possible thanks to a total donation of £2.75 million from the HELP Appeal. It will go a long way to ensuring that King’s College Hospital continues to deliver world-class trauma care and save even more lives.