A NEW and improved helicopter landing pad has opened at Eastbourne District General Hospital to improve the care of emergency patients.
The new helipad is larger and has higher specifications than the one previously used, which enables the landing of different types of air ambulances.
The helipad allows patients requiring urgent treatment to be transferred to the Emergency Department quicker.
It also allows patients who need specialist care to be transferred more quickly to specialist units outside the area.
Eastbourne DGH is the most-used landing site for air ambulance and other emergency helicopters of any hospital in Sussex.
The new pad can now accept helicopters both day and night from Air Ambulance, Police, Coast Guard, Air-sea Rescue and the military.
It has been designed to accommodate the largest regularly visiting military helicopter - Agusta Westland EH101 Merlin – which is larger than any emergency service helicopter.
The new pad has enhanced poor weather and night-time lighting, including landing lights and an illuminated wind sock.
It is situated at a site that ensures maximum safety for the helicopter and those on the ground.
Improved traffic barriers have also been built on adjacent roads.
The new pad has been built as part of a wider project that will involve the hospital being expanded onto land that was used by the previous helipad.
Dr Salim Shubber, emergency department consultant, said, “The new pad makes landing at the hospital easier and safer and promotes our 24-hour capabilities.
“It also gives closer access to the clinical areas with the paved short walkway from the landing site to the Emergency Department.”