Derriford Helipad construction
This project has enabled Plymouth NHS Trust to deliver an improved helicopter landing facility. Devon & Cornwall Air Ambulances, along with air sea rescue Sea Kings, can now access the hospital day and night, helping the Hospital Trust continue to improve their services to the community. Previously the hospital did not have a recognised helipad and instead had a small grassed-over area adjacent to the Emergency Department, which had been used for some years as a set-down area for air ambulances.
The new helipad was constructed within the existing Car Park B. Our works included:
- Alterations to the lower car park to increase car parking space covering those lost from the upper car park
- Construction of the new helipad in the existing upper car park, including a 2.2m high blast wall to deflect the downwash from the landing helicopters.
The works presented several challenges along the way, including services locations, the diversion of the potable water supply and additional obstruction lighting. These challenges were managed in close collaboration with the Trust to ensure that the best value solutions were employed successfully.
The helipad was completed on the 29th of May as per programme and officially opened on the 5th of June with the landing of a Royal Navy Sea King search and rescue helicopter.
“I worked with South West Highways [SWH Civils] on the delivery of the Derriford Hospital Helipad, which was delivered on time, despite the challenges faced during the construction phase. I found [them] a pleasure to work with, nothing was too much trouble.”
Amanda Worley, Capital Building Projects Manager
“SWH’s staff has consistently chosen the Devon Air Ambulance Trust as our charity of choice. We are really pleased to be associated with a project which helps their operations and those of the Trust so significantly.”
Andrew Plumber, Business Manager at SWH
"We’re extremely proud to have played a part in making this purpose built helipad for Derriford Hospital a reality. This new facility will make a real difference to patients from Cornwall suffering serious trauma injuries and requiring specialist treatment at the regional Major Trauma Centre. The helipad is especially important to us as the first air ambulance in the region to fly in the hours of darkness, as it safeguards our ability to get our patients to the best possible treatment, even after dark.
Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance