England

Derriford Hospital helipad will enable night landings

Cornwall Air Ambulance
Image caption New air ambulances in Cornwall will be able to fly in darkness for the first time from December

A new helipad will be built in Plymouth enabling Devon and Cornwall's air ambulances to carry out night flights.

Funding of £1.75m has been agreed to build the facility at Derriford Hospital.

The hospital currently has a small grassed-over area adjacent to the emergency department which has been used for landings.

Derriford will have its new helipad in operation by Summer 2015, a spokesperson said.

The new facility will also be able to receive search and rescue (SAR) helicopters as well as the emergency night flights which Devon and Cornwall Air Ambulances.

Currently SAR helicopters have to land at nearby Marjons, with patients then being transferred to hospital by land ambulance.

The Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads Appeal (HELP) has contributed £850,000, with £900,000 coming from capital funding from the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Work on the new helipad will start within weeks, the hospital confirmed.

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