Faith Hospital launches emergency helipad

| 13/10/2016
CNS Local Life

Baroness Anelay (left, centre) and Governor Helen Kilpatrick (right, centre) cutting the ribbon to open Faith Hospital’s emergency helipad

(CNS Local Life): Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac has installed an emergency helipad to provide a dedicated landing area for airlifting patients to Grand Cayman. Visiting UK Overseas Territories Minister, Baroness Joyce Anelay, and Governor Helen Kilpatrick cut the ribbon on the helipad at an opening ceremony on Monday, 3 October.

“This dedicated emergency landing site for Faith Hospital is a milestone for the Sister Islands’ healthcare delivery,” said Dr Srirangan Velusamy, director of the Sister Islands Health Services.

“It has already proved to be a huge benefit for our patients presented with cardiac emergencies.”

Response time is critical for acute heart patients; the sooner they receive treatment the better their chance for a positive outcome and survival.

The main benefit of the now fully operational helipad is that it will be utilised by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) helicopter for patients with medical emergencies who need to be airlifted to Grand Cayman for further treatment.

In addition to airlifting patients to Grand Cayman, the RCIPS has assisted in a number of other emergencies, including bringing units of blood and specialist doctors to Faith Hospital to help stabilise trauma patients before transporting them to Grand Cayman.

“Healthcare is a field of constant change and we are blessed in the Cayman Islands to be able to offer acute cardiac services on par with developed countries,” said Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the Health Services Authority.

Located to the rear of the hospital, the new helipad also offers greater convenience and improved privacy for patients. Prior to its installment, the hospital’s parking lot had to be cleared for the RCIPS helicopter to land.

“As you can imagine this would result in inconvenience for other patients and visitors and draw a lot of attention to the scene which could possibly infringe on patient privacy,” Yearwood said. “So the obvious thing to do was to designate an area for this purpose.”

However, due to the property’s limited space, Faith Hospital had to seek an alternative solution and reached out to Robert Hurlstone, the landowner for the property on which the helipad is now located.

He agreed at once to donate his land, saying he was willing to do whatever he could to play a part in making sure the helipad was possible since he had experienced the critical importance of a timely transfer to Grand Cayman for his own health.

Once the property was secured power lines were moved, the land was cleared, the helipad was paved and inspections were carried out to ensure the helipad met all of the fire codes.

“I thank all the stakeholders who made this a reality, especially Mr Robert Hurlstone who generously donated the land,” said Dr Velusamy.

Councillor for Health Roy McTaggart added, “Faith Hospital’s Emergency Helipad project is a great model for public-private partnership aimed at improving healthcare for the people of the Cayman Islands.”


Category: Medical and Health

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