Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

09 May 2018

BRI helideck four years on



Today marks four years since the first ever patient flight landed on the new helideck at the top of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).

The 25x25 metre aluminium deck opened in May 2014, and directly connects to the adult emergency department at the BRI, as well as Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the Bristol Heart Institute.

The arrival of the helideck has transformed how quickly air ambulance patients get to our hospitals and plays a key part in the Trust's role as the Paediatric Major Trauma Centre for the South West.

Previously, air ambulance crews had to land on The Downs where the patient would then be transferred into a road ambulance before reaching the hospital.

"The BRI helipad has had a huge impact on the speed of care we are able to provide to patients with serious illness and injury," explained Professor Jonathan Benger, a consultant in emergency medicine at UH Bristol. "It has provided a swift and efficient route to life-saving treatments, particularly for seriously injured children and adults with life-threatening heart disease."

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was the first official landing on 9 May 2014. Since then, over 450 patient flights have landed at the BRI helideck.

All flights to and from the deck are overseen by the Helideck Team which is made up of three full time members of staff and six volunteers who also work in other departments across the Trust.

Their role is to ensure the safe landing of the helicopters, providing fire cover and ensuring the Civil Aviation Regulations are followed. They also assist in transferring patients to the relevant clinical team once they have landed.

"It's a great team to be part of, and in my opinion the best in the Trust!" said Andy Williams, deputy supervisor. "There's a lot of camaraderie and the Trust owes a great deal of gratitude to the volunteers on the team as they play a vital role in making sure the helideck runs smoothly."

The installation of the £3 million helideck was partly made possible thanks to a grant of £500,000 from the HELP Appeal (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) Appeal).

Six air ambulance operators transferring seriously ill patients from across the South West use the BRI helideck.



Picture: (L-R) Chris Mansfield, James Pope, Charmaine Earlington, Tom Cook and Andy Williams.