Upgraded helicopter landing spot streamlines access to patient care
Helicopter pilots flying critically ill or injured patients to Concord Hospital now have a new landing spot, with the upgraded helipad streamlining access to patient care.
A successful helicopter test flight was carried out last month, with the pilot completing take- offs and landings during the day and at night.
Now, the new helipad is operational 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Patients flown by helicopter to the hospital may be from an accident or incident site or are transferred because they require specialist medical treatment not available elsewhere.
“The upgrade will be of particular benefit to the multidisciplinary teams at Concord Hospital caring for people with significant burn injuries,” Dr Teresa Anderson, the District’s Chief Executive, said.
Concord is part of the NSW Statewide Severe Burn Injury Service and treated patients from the New Zealand volcano eruption in 2019 and the Bali bombings in 2002.
There is now improved access from the helipad to Concord’s Burns Unit and to the Intensive Care Unit. There is also connectivity to the hospital’s Emergency Department and operating theatres.
The District’s Capital Assets, Projects and Engineering team led the project to upgrade the helipad, in consultation with the builders of the new Concord Hospital Stage One Redevelopment.
The new concrete landing strip includes special green and yellow directional lighting to guide helicopter pilots during take-off and landing.
The lighting will be operated by the hospital’s security team, as needed. The flight paths remain the same.
Over the past eight months, the builders constructing the hospital’s new Clinical Services Building have completed extensive work near the upgraded helipad and along the foreshore.
“We’re excited to start a new chapter in the history of Concord Hospital,” Jon Gowdy, the District’s Director of Capital Assets, Property and Engineering, said.
“The upgraded helipad will ensure the quick and safe movement of vulnerable patients for immediate emergency assessment.”
During the upgrade works, an alternative landing site at Yaralla Estate was used. The location was selected by aviation and safety experts.
The temporary helipad was located on the paddock area adjacent to the Dairy and was fenced and signposted to ensure the safety of the community.
Residents were able to continue to enjoy the pathways and other paddocks and open spaces at the Estate.