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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
New 300,000 helipad for hospital
Treliske Hospital
Vehicles had to be moved at the hospital before the new helipad
A new 300,000 helipad is being officially opened at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Thursday.

The helipad, for the county's air ambulance, has been built close to the Accident and Emergency department at the Treliske site.

The previous pad was directly outside and in the past vehicles had to be moved for the helicopter to land.

The new pad means road ambulances have direct access to the casualty area whilst the aircraft is there.

Pad fundraising

Sir Tim Rice is opening the facility after raising 62,500 towards the cost through his appearance on the television game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

The rest of the money was raised by the people of Cornwall through donations and fundraising events.

Cornwall's Air Ambulance first took to the skies in April 1987 and was the first helicopter emergency medical service in the United Kingdom.

Director of Cornwall Air Ambulance, Mr Richard Taylor, said: "The new helipad will help to ensure the safety of the air crew and the patient and will also help to ensure the patient gets the best possible care as swiftly as possible."

The Cornwall Air Ambulance has carried more than 15,000 patients since its launch.


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