New Helipad Gets Off the Ground with Welsh Government Funding

Saturday 19 November 2016

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Almost £700 000 of Welsh Government funding has been announced by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething for a new 24 hour helipad at Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.


The current helipad has been found to be unsuitable for night flights, this funding will enable Wales’ flying medics, the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Cymru (EMRTS), to attend to patients at any time of day or night.


EMRTS is a partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity and NHS Wales. Since April 2015 consultants and critical care practitioners have joined the Charity’s helicopters in south and mid Wales to attend to patients whose survival is time-critical.


Through the flying medics service, consultants are able to start hospital equivalent treatment at the scene of an emergency and transport patients directly to the appropriate specialist care. This will give those who are in a life-threatening situation the best possible chance of survival.


Vaughan Gething said: “This significant capital funding from the Welsh Government will help ensure those critically ill patients who need care as fast as possible, by air, day or night, can get that care.


“This is all part of our ongoing commitment to delivering a modern and effective health service that the people of Wales deserve.”


Cwm Taf University Health Board expects the new helipad to be operational in March 2017.


Ruth Treharne, Director of Planning and Performance at Cwm Taf University Health Board said:  "We are delighted that our capital funding bid for a new helipad at Prince Charles Hospital has been given the go-ahead. The helipad, which will be situated next to our state-of-the-art Emergency Care Centre, will allow us to receive and treat more critically ill patients 24 hours a day."


Dr Dindi Gill, EMRTS Interim National Director, said: “We are delighted to hear about the development of this new 24 hour helipad and we thank the Welsh Government for their ongoing support. This facility will enhance our capability of delivering pre-hospital critical care and time-critical transfers working with our colleagues in Cwm Taf University Health Board.


“The introduction of this lit landing site also aligns itself with the strategic vision of EMRTS, in conjunction with our partners the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, becoming a 24/7 service.”


Additional Information

1. EMRTS Cymru is a partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, NHS Wales and the Welsh Government. The consultants and critical care practitioners fly on board the Wales Air Ambulance Charity helicopters which are based in Dafen and Welshpool. It is the generosity of the Welsh public, through donations to the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, which keeps the helicopters flying.

When the helicopters are unable to fly due to poor weather conditions, the service has access to a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles.

To find out more about the Wales Air Ambulance Charity visit

2. For further details please contact Steven Stokes, EMRTS Cymru Communications Manager, on 07866 796985 or via