Emergency response helipad opens on Skye after funding from the HELP Appeal


Portree helipad undergoes extensive refurbishment

Portree helipad has been officially opened in Skye, following an extensive refurbishment programme to provide a base for two rapid emergency response helicopters on the island to treat patients in urgent trauma cases.

The new helipad capability will save vital minutes when transferring trauma patients by air ambulance to hospital and the Scottish Ambulance Service believes it will ultimately save more lives.

The helipad will be used jointly by the Scottish Ambulance Service and the HMS Coastguard and will provide an important additional resource for the island.

The Portree & Braes Community Trust was key in securing the funding for the refurbishment of the Portree helipad.

Through approaching the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads, the organisation secured funds for the helipad upgrade work to be completed.

Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “Everyone is aware of the vital role that air ambulances play in treating critically-ill patients, but a helipad can play a significant part too in saving vital minutes when transporting a patient to the expert care they need to save their lives.

“We were delighted to pledge £18,000 to the upgrade of the Portree helipad as we are fully aware of the drastic difference that the helipad will make.

“Every second counts when a critical accident or injury happens and the new helipad will ensure that the most-seriously-ill or injured patients get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.”

Andy Moir, head of air ambulance, added: “This new helipad will allow us to treat seriously-injured patients more quickly in circumstances when every second counts, minimising the transfer time to hospital. It will make a huge difference to patients and ultimately save more lives.

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“The upgrade work on the helipad in Portree is a fantastic addition to the emergency services provision in the Highlands and it is great to see it being opened.

“Having a number of appropriately-equipped helipads across Scotland increases the ability of our skilled crews to get patients to the best treatment centre quickly and effectively.”