Bradshaw questions lack of helipad business case

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has questioned why a helipad for the roof of a Belfast hospital was announced without a proper business case.

The helipad, designed to be built on the roof of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s critical care centre, was announced by previous Health Minister Simon Hamilton prior to May’s election. However, current Minister Michelle O’Neill today (Thursday) stated the Ambulance Service was still completing the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service business case, meaning once it had been approved, it could take nine months for the helipad to be constructed.

“A Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for Northern Ireland would be a welcome addition to our health service, particularly given we are the only area of the UK without such a facility,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“But a number of questions remain over the practicalities involved. One major enquiry is why this move was announced in a blaze of glory by the previous Minister without a business case being completed, conveniently close to an election.

“The best tribute to the late Dr John Hinds would be the correct infrastructure being in place to establish a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, not just populist announcements that just open up more questions.”

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