As a valued supporter of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital Helipad Appeal, we are updating you on the project and our appeal progress. We launched the appeal back in 2017 and thanks to our wonderful supporters; we have almost reached our appeal target.

In December 2020, the Trust received wonderful news of a statutory grant which would allow both Bedford Hospital and Luton & Dunstable Hospital to make much needed improvements and renovations to their respective Emergency Departments.

At the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, our new ED will be virtually doubled in size to create a multi-functional space, supported by new technology, which will enable a smoother journey through the ED for critically ill and trauma patients. To support this ambition we are placing a CT scanner and an ultrasound in the heart of the ED. This approach, whilst not essential for a general hospital ED, would place us at the forefront of care, including trauma care, and the renovations will enable the preparatory works required for the helipad build as well as making essential improvements for all patients arriving at the hospital by helicopter or otherwise.

The surprise receipt of the monies for the EDs has also quarantined the L&D site for the majority of 2022 and has opened up the possibility of further opportunities on this site. We are working on a new Acute Services Block which will provide new theatres, neonatal intensive care unit, delivery suites and critical care, all of which build a foundation for our state of the art hospital of the future.

Therefore, the Trust has taken the strategic decision to put the helipad project on temporary hold until the majority of building work on the site is completed – we hope that this will be in 2024. While we realise that this might be disappointing for some supporters, we feel that this is the right course of action for the hospital and the service needs of our patients. The improvements planned for our EDs will better support our leading team of clinicians to provide excellent emergency care and treatment in a department, as well as enhancing our reputation as a leading unit.

While we are establishing the clearer definition of the helipad proposition, we ask all those who have donated or pledged funds to the helipad to hold over those commitments to create the only full service helipad in the three counties physically connected into the heart of one of the best EDs in the country. The delay is a disappointment for all but only enhances the strength of our Emergency Department for our local community.

We ask for your understanding of our decision and hope you will remain a supporter of our work. We would be happy to discuss further if you have any questions or queries.

To contact the fundraising team:

Email Fundraising@ldh.nhs.uk

Telephone 01582 718 289