The first helicopter test flight has been completed at the new rooftop helipad as part of the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital development, with a helicopter rescue team undertaking a successful landing and takeoff.
The helipad testing exercise, carried out by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, is part of the operational commissioning activities being undertaken at the new hospital, which is due to open next year.
Helipad testing is an important step in preparing to ensure the most critically ill patients can receive the best urgent care in a timely manner.
The helipad at the new hospital has a dedicated elevator which will provide direct access from the rooftop to the Emergency Department and operating theatres to ensure patient transfers can take place safely and efficiently.
The new $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital will be a regional referral hospital and forms part of the Northern NSW Local Health District’s network of hospitals and health facilities, including Murwillumbah, Byron and Ballina hospitals.
Currently, the majority of emergency transfers in the Tweed Valley region are undertaken by road.
When the new Tweed Valley Hospital opens next year, the helipad will provide additional capacity for helicopter retrievals and transfers, to support the needs of the growing region.
The new hospital will offer expanded services for the Tweed Valley community, as well as new health services including – interventional cardiology and radiation oncology – which will result in around 5,000 patients per year being able to receive treatment closer to home.
Some of the most critically ill or injured patients, for example those requiring specialist treatment for burns or neurological conditions, will continue to be transferred to major hospitals that provide the highest level of care.
Find out more at the Tweed Valley Hospital development project website.