Air ambulances cannot land at a Cambridge hospital after a US military aircraft damaged its helipad during a training exercise.
The U.S. Air Force CV22 Osprey tiltrotor stripped the helipad carpet off the ground as it took off from Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Wednesday.
Video posted online shows military personnel leaving the plane before takeoff and debris being sent in flight.
This means critically ill patients currently cannot be airlifted to the site, which serves as the main trauma center in the east of England for three air ambulance crews.
Instead, they are flown to Cambridge City Airport and do most of their journey by ambulance.
Repair work is underway with East Anglian, Magpas and Essex and Herts air ambulance services confident that it will be in use again soon.
Maj Keavy Rake, 48th Fighter Wing, USAF, said, “The area was inspected in accordance with our policies and procedures and some damage has occurred.
“We are taking action to rectify as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate the relationship and coordination we have with the UK.”
Several of the tiltrotors, which function as helicopters, are based near RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.
An ambulance service spokesperson said: “Due to an incident at the Cambridge University Hospitals heliport involving a military aircraft on Wednesday April 21, the heliport is temporarily unavailable for air ambulances.
“The next closest helipad is at Cambridge City Airport, where one of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) teams is based.
“It will be possible for the EAAA heliport to be used as an alternate landing site during this time and for patients to be transferred to Addenbrooke from there by land ambulance, with intensive care personnel on board.
An NHS Trust of Cambridge University Hospitals …
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This notice was published: 2021-04-22 20:52:00