By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Nottingham University Hospitals have issued an update on plans for a new helipad as part of a major transformation programme.
The ‘Tomorrow’s NUH’ programme has been described as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to redevelop hospital services to address health inequalities and spark economic regeneration.
Nottingham University Hospitals, made up of Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, was chosen as one of 40 major hospitals to be funded by the Government to make the changes.
The plans could see maternity and neonatal services being merged at Queen’s Medical Centre in a new Women’s and Children’s hospital.
And the plans could also see the trust gaining its own on-site helipad at Queen’s Medical Centre, which has been a “longstanding ambition” for NUH.
The trust said an on-site helipad is important in reducing the risk for severely injured patients.
At the trust’s board meeting earlier this month, Richard Collins, a volunteer at NUH said: “As a Major Trauma Centre for the East Midlands, it was proposed a new helicopter landing pad would be built at QMC some years ago.
“This would overcome time delays caused by heavy traffic from the present landing site. Money was raised by public subscriptions towards this project.
“Priorities, including Covid, have forced changes to the start of the building of the new landing pad. When can we expect it to be re-started?”
Alison Wynne, Director of Strategy and Transformation, said: “The building of the helipad is part of the proposal for tomorrow’s NUH.
“This is a proposal before we go out to public consultation.
“Over the next weeks as things become clearer we will find out about that.
“The proposal is on top of one of the new builds and it would be completed by 2030 according to current plans but that’s what has to become clear over the coming months.”
Chair of the board Nick Carver added: “We haven’t forgotten about it, it’s within the plans.
“We’re looking forward to hearing about Tomorrow’s NUH and that’s a key element of it.”
Mr Collins added: “I am concerned about the public funds that have been raised already, knowing that people will be wondering what’s happened to their money.”
Our Tomorrow’s NUH Programme Director, Phil Britt, said: “It has been a longstanding ambition of NUH to have an on-site helipad given its status as a Major Trauma Centre.
“The proposals we are developing through the Tomorrow’s NUH Programme include provision for a helipad at our Queen’s Medical Centre campus on one of the proposed new buildings.
“Tomorrow’s NUH is part of the national New Hospital Programme and is in Cohort 4 with funding and development due in the period 2025-2030.”
Under the wider plans, most elective (planned) operations planned like hip replacements and cataract surgery, would be delivered at the City Hospital, with some emergency care moving to the QMC. Cancer treatment would continue to be delivered across both sites.
The vision is to turn City Hospital into a “centre of excellence for elective care”.