Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre helipad gets the go-ahead

Artists impression of a helipad Image copyright Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption NHS bosses hope the helipad will be operational from early 2018

Proposals for a new helipad over a car park at a hospital in Nottingham have been given planning approval.

Hospital bosses said it was "an important milestone" in a £3.2m project to cut patient handover times at Queen's Medical Centre (QMC).

Nottinghamshire University Hospitals NHS Trust said the helipad could reduce patient transfers by up to 10 minutes.

It is hoped the helipad, which is set to be built on stilts, will be in use from early 2018.

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The hospital trust had plans to build the helipad on top of a new research building approved in 2015, but that project was deemed unviable and was never completed.

The helipad will now be built on stilts on top of one of the hospital's car parks.

Patients will then be transferred from the helipad to a lift and then a land ambulance, which will take them for treatment.

Helicopters currently land at a helipad at Highfields Park a mile away and patients are transferred by road ambulance.

Image copyright Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption Cars will be able to park underneath the landing pad

Andrew Chatten, from the trust, said: "There remains much to do but this formal planning approval is an important milestone.

"This facility will help improve the care to the most critically injured patients from across the region helping them to be treated more quickly, reducing the transfer time from 15 minutes to less than five minutes from helicopter to our major trauma centre."

The helipad is being funded by a £2.5m donation from the Nottingham Hospitals Charity and a £700,000 investment from the hospital trust.

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