The government is to hand over more than £1m to Central Manchester NHS Trust from its Libor fund – made up of penalties paid by banks that break financial rules – to fund the hospital’s new helipad.

Recent headlines like this clearly show how useful helipad’s are for hospitals. And what comes with this??…..Yes, helipad lights!

LED helipad lights will cut through low visibility and always guide the aircraft to the heliport. With excellent illumination on the heliport you can be sure pilots will be able to locate the landing zone both comfortably and safely.

The hospital premises that are situated on the site, which include Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Saint Mary’s Hospital, rely heavily on a secondary landing site that is situated in a nearby park. This results in patients that are initially transported by air ambulance must then, in the final mile of their journey, be taken in a land ambulance.

Having the helipad, with the appropriate lighting, in this sort of setting is unbelievably vital. When an adult or child suffers a major trauma, the speed with which they can get specialist medical help can be the difference between life and death or between recovering and recovering well. The first 60 minutes following a major trauma or severe injury is known as the ‘Golden Hour’. Fast access to specialist treatment is vital to give patients the best chance possible.

The helipad will make sure that patients are brought for treatment – at the hospital that can provide them with the quickest and most expert emergency and specialist care – in very quick time. The installation is easy. Anybody with an existing helipad can install ICAO or FAA compliant helipad lights in super quick time without any need for specialised equipment.

Currently the hospital – unlike Wythenshawe – does not have its own landing facility and has to drop off patients a mile away before transferring them by regular ambulance.

According to Mark Evans, the Clinical Service Manager at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, the creation of this helipad will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for patients to get the expert care they urgently need, allowing hospitals to increase the chances of a full or improved level of recovery in a substantial amount of seriously ill or injured patients.

He also said that helipads are of the utmost importance in urban areas – such as Manchester – where secondary sites, which they often resort to using, are not in close proximity to the hospital. Saving vital minutes in transfer time may save lives, reducing instances of death, disability and suffering.

Helipads – without lights – it doesn’t bare thinking about does it?