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Date: 1 September 2014

Time: 14:40

Helipad at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Helipad questions and answers

Where will the helicopter land?

The air ambulance will land on a specifically built helipad on top of the multi-storey car park opposite the new hospital.

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Why doesn’t it land on the hospital?

The decision to have the helipad on the car park was based on the speed and safety of getting patients to the Emergency Department, which test show is quicker than the process at Selly Oak. The multi storey car park offered an elevated platform close the emergency department.

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What can residents expect?

The preferred route for helicopter is to make their final approach over the BWH and take off over Metchley Lane. It is normal procedure for the helicopter to shut down its engines while on the helipad. There are occasions however when the helicopter is on an emergency call elsewhere for the rotors to continue to operate whilst the patient is transferred to an A&E trolley in anticipation of an immediate take off.

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What if I saw the helicopter come in a different way?

Over BWH is the preferred route but helicopters always approach against the prevailing wind. Each landing is dependent on the wind direction at the time and will ultimately be down to the pilot on the day.

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How will you get patients to the ED?

Patients will be lifted from the helicopter onto a specially designed gurney and brought to ground level by a dedicated lift. The patient will be wheeled across Mindelsohn Way straight into the Emergency Department.

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How will this affect traffic?

Barriers and traffic lights will be used to stop traffic when patients are being transferred. However the new road has reduced traffic significantly, thereby causing less disruption to traffic flow during patient transfer.

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How loud is the helicopter?

Tests on the building and experience from construction of similar helipads show the noise at ground level is of a very short duration. Elevated helipads of this type are common in built up areas and few problems are encountered with noise at ground level.

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Is it safe?

The helipad has been constructed to the Civil Aviation Authority’s guidelines with regard to size and location of surrounding buildings, trees and cables.

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What sort of helicopter is it?

Most regularly a Eurocopter 135, a small helicopter for civilian use primarily used by air ambulances and police.

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Will large military helicopters land on the pad?

No, the helipad is only for small ambulance aircraft.

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Are the helipads at Selly Oak still open?

The helipad to the old A&E department is now closed; the secondary landing position on the cricket pitch has been retained for emergencies.

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Will the helipad be 24/7?

No, the helipad is for daytime use only

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How often do flights come in?

Currently, on average, the Trust receives less than two flights per day.

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What consultation was carried out with residents?

All plans for QEHB, including the helipad, were discussed with stakeholder groups, which included residents. The plans were also made available for comment and submissions during the planning phase as part of legislative requirements. The plans were examined by a Birmingham City Council committee before being approved by the full council.

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